Aside from left tackle David Bakhtiari returning to practice for the first time since he underwent a follow up surgery on his knee, the Green Bay Packers got good news elsewhere on the offensive line front today. When asked about the health of right tackle Billy Turner, who left the Chicago Bears game last week with a knee injury, head coach Matt LaFleur stated that Turner was likely to return to the team this season.
Reporter: What did you guys find out about Billy and do you think he’ll be able to play this season?
LaFleur: This season? Yeah, I think so, but I think we’re still kinda going through everything to see where he’s at.
This is a more definitive statement than LaFleur made on Monday, when he simply said the team was hopeful that Turner would return, but that he wouldn’t make a further statement because they were still evaluating his injury. While Turner did not return to practice on Wednesday, the idea that Bakhtiari and Turner very well could start as the team’s bookends in the playoffs over Yosh Nijman and Dennis Kelly is promising.
In the meantime, Kelly, who saw his first offensive snaps of the season last week, will start in place for Turner at right tackle. Kelly, who has been in the league since 2012, has played in over 100 NFL games and started the entire 2020 season for the Tennessee Titans as their right tackle. LaFleur said on Monday that the team’s swing tackle option, with Nijman and Kelly pushed into starting roles, will be Ben Braden, who was activated from the practice squad in Week 11.