Earlier today, in his pre-practice presser, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stated that he didn’t believe that tackle David Bakhtiari would return to practice on Wednesday. Despite being under that impression, Bakhtiari was on the practice field for the first time since he underwent his followup knee surgery a little over 30 minutes later.
Bakhtiari’s return could become crucial to the Packers’ playoff run, as guard Elgton Jenkins was recently placed on injured reserve while right tackle Billy Turner went down with an injury against the Chicago Bears last Sunday. Bakhtiari, a former All-Pro, has yet to play a game this season, but was one of the best, if not the best, pass-blocking left tackle in the game the last time we saw him on a football field.
Last week, LaFleur stated that Bakhtiari, along with cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (back), could return to practice soon. In the end, only Alexander practiced with the team leading up to the Bears game. With Bakhtiari already on the active roster after practicing earlier in the season, this does not start his 21-day window to return to the team, unlike Alexander last week, as Bakhtiari’s roster spot is already accounted for.
Along with Bakhtiari, tight end Dominique Dafney (ankle), receiver Malik Taylor (abdomen) and quarterback Jordan Love (reserve/Covid-19) also practiced today, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Only quarterback Aaron Rodgers (toe), receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) and right tackle Billy Turner (knee) were missing from Wednesday’s practice.