Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari will likely have to wait at least another week to make his first start in 2021, as head coach Matt LaFleur stated that the team is “unloading” the bookend. Bakhtiari, recovering off of multiple knee surgeries for a 2020 torn ACL, returned to the active roster on November 10th with the hope that he could return to the field shortly thereafter. Nearly a month and a half later, though, it appears that Bakhtiari’s knee has taken some sort of setback again.
Bakhtiari began the season on the physically unable to perform list, which forces players to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. On October 18th, Bakhtiari began practicing with the Packers, triggering his 21-day window to return to the team. On the final day of that window, November 10th, Bakhtiari was moved to the active roster for the first time in 2021. In the following five Green Bay practices after his activation, Bakhtiari only participated once with the news that he had a follow up surgery on his knee coming shortly after.
Matt LaFleur said he was as surprised as anyone else that David Bakhtiari practiced yesterday after LaFleur told us before practice that Bakhtiari wasn't practicing. Says it shows how bad he wants to get back out there.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 16, 2021
Last week, LaFleur told the media that Bakhtiari wouldn’t be practicing just 30 minutes before the tackle took the practice field with his teammates, adding further confusion to what the status of his recovery is. Now, Bakhtiari is being held out again, to which LaFleur said the team will take it “day-by-day.” At the moment, Yosh Nijman is the team’s starting left tackle replacement for Elgton Jenkins, who in November was placed on the injured reserve list for a torn ACL.
Packers-Browns injury report estimations for today: pic.twitter.com/YZkacnM8It— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 22, 2021
In other news, Green Bay’s injury report estimations on Tuesday (no practice) matched their estimations on Wednesday (walk-thru.) Along with Bakhtiari, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (toe), right tackle Billy Turner (knee), receiver Malik Taylor (shoulder) and linebacker Ty Summers (hamstring) were listed as non-participants. Running back Aaron Jones (knee), receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) and tight end Dominique Dafney (ankle) were listed as limited. Defensive tackle Kenny Clark is still on the reserve/Covid-19 list as is receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was placed on the list yesterday.
The Cleveland Browns did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday as they’re making a quick turnaround from their Monday game against the Las Vegas Raiders to play on the road at Lambeau on Christmas. They estimate that pass-rusher Myles Garrett (groin) would be a non-participant in practice, though, while quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum are still on the reserve/Covid-19 list. Last week, Nick Mullens, who has spent the majority of the season on their practice squad, had to make a start at quarterback after their game was pushed from Saturday to Monday due to the volume of positive tests the team caught during the week.