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David Bakhtiari to start season on PUP, miss first six weeks

Tough news is never ideal, even when it was expected.

Syndication: The Post-Crescent Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari will not be on the field for the first six weeks of the season, as the team has placed him on the physically unable to perform list to start the year, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. This was due to Bakhtiari’s late-season ACL injury in 2020. Functionally, it was Green Bay’s only option with Bakhtiari, if 1) they didn’t plan to use a 53-man roster spot on him, 2) they knew he couldn’t play early on in the season, and 3) they wanted to let him return to the field this season.

As ESPN’s Rob Demovsky notes, being placed on the injured reserve list would allow a player to return in three weeks, but a player cannot be removed from the PUP list, join the active roster, and then be placed on the IR list for the same injury, as a physical to make the 53-man roster would then clear him, on paper, of his PUP injury.

Do-it-all lineman Elgton Jenkins now has the opportunity to chase his 2020 Pro Bowl season at guard with an opportunity to transition to tackle, at least early on in the season. With Jenkins and Billy Turner seemingly locking down the bookend positions for the first third of the regular season, the Packers’ current emergency options at tackle are Dennis Kelly, a veteran swing tackle who was signed this summer, and Royce Newman, a rookie starter at guard who has seen reps at right tackle in camp.