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Packers rule Bakhtiari & Keke out against Bears, Chicago down two of top three CBs

Budding rookie star Jaylon Johnson is out for the Bears on Sunday, which should open up some room for the Packers’ passing game.

NFL: DEC 06 Eagles at Packers

This week, the biggest news coming out of Green Bay was the devastating injury to Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari. The Pro Bowl starter and likely All-Pro left tackle is done for the season with a knee injury, and on Friday the Packers formally designated him as out for Sunday’s regular season finale against the Chicago Bears.

In the wake of that news, however, Friday’s injury report actually shows some encouraging news outside of Bakhtiari’s status. Right tackle Rick Wagner appears ready to play a week after being carted out of Lambeau Field with a knee injury. Wagner did not practice on Wednesday but was able to work on a limited basis on both Thursday and Friday, and he heads into the weekend with no injury designation. That suggests that he will be ready to go in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game.

Wagner being available unlocks numerous possibilities for the Packers’ offensive line. When Bakhtiari missed three games earlier in the season, the Packers moved Billy Turner to left tackle, where he held up well, starting Wagner on the right side. The team could also try out second-year pro Elgton Jenkins at left tackle and insert Lucas Patrick or Jon Runyan at left guard instead.

Along with Bakhtiari, the only member of the active roster expected to miss Sunday’s game is defensive lineman Kingsley Keke. Keke will be out after suffering a concussion recently, and with him unavailable, there will likely be a few more snaps to go around on the defensive line. Look for new addition Damon Harrison to pick up a few of those snaps, particularly on early downs.

In addition to Wagner being available, the Packers will get back a handful of important players for Sunday’s game. Running back Jamaal Williams is ready to go, practicing fully on Thursday and Friday, while tight end Jace Sternberger is also set to return after being a full participant on Friday.

While the Packers are dealing with the shakeup on the offensive line, the Bears will have to find some answers for a secondary down a few key players. One of the team’s starting boundary cornerbacks, Jaylon Johnson, and the top slot corner in Buster Skrine are both out for Sunday’s game. That should make the Chicago defense more susceptible to the pass, an area where the Packers excel. Look for Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor to see significant playing time while the Bears may try to move Kendall Fuller around to shadow Davante Adams.

Chicago also has a few players who will be questionable for this game. Tight ends Cole Kmet and Demetrius Harris, defensive backs Deon Bush and Tashaun Gipson, and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson are all questionable. Of that group, Gipson and Patterson both were full participants in Friday’s practice and seem likely to play.

Here’s the Packers’ full injury report.

Week 17 Packers Injury Report

Player Position Injury Wednesday Status Thursday Status Friday Status Game Status
Player Position Injury Wednesday Status Thursday Status Friday Status Game Status
Adrian Amos S Ankle Full Full Full --
David Bakhtiari OT Knee -- Limited DNP Out
Kingsley Keke DL Concussion DNP DNP DNP Out
Kevin King CB Groin Limited Limited Limited --
Allen Lazard WR Core/wrist Limited Limited Limited --
Marcedes Lewis TE Knee Limited DNP Full --
Will Redmond S Concussion Limited Limited Full --
Darnell Savage S Finger Full Full Full --
Za'Darius Smith OLB Ankle'thumb Limited Limited Limited --
Equanimeous St. Brown WR Knee Limited Limited Limited --
Simon Stepaniak G Knee Full Full Full Questionable
Jace Sternberger TE Concussion Limited Limited Full --
Rick Wagner OT Knee DNP Limited Limited --
Jamaal Williams RB Quad Limited Full Full --