Here’s the good news, Packers fans: Cornerback Jaire Alexander, outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus are about to play their first games back from the injured reserve.
Here’s the bad news: Left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back) are going to miss the game against the San Francisco 49ers. Bakhtiari was able to play for 27 snaps in the season finale against the Detroit Lions, but did not practice on Tuesday or Thursday due to “load management” according to head coach Matt LaFleur. Unfortunately, it seems like a bigger issue than that as Bakhtiari has once again slipped out of practice and game participation.
Valdes-Scantling hurt his back against Detroit in Week 18 and was unable to practice on Wednesday or Thursday this week. He was officially listed as doubtful coming into this game while Bakhtiari was listed as questionable. The only other player who was given an injury designation on Friday’s finale injury report was Alexander (shoulder) who was listed as question.
It’s also worth noting that the Packers did not activate either defensive lineman that they protected on the practice squad this week or returner David Moore. They will only have four interior linemen available for this game after they waived Kingsley Keke and Jack Heflin this week to make room for the activations of their outside linebackers and Randall Cobb, who has also returned to the 53-man roster. Special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton would not name a starting punt returner when asked about the unit in his press conference this week.
The San Francisco 49ers will be out Ambry Thomas (knee) who has started at cornerback for the team since Week 14. Every other player who is listed as inactive for the 49ers is a healthy scratch.
Full inactives list:
- #30 Shawn Davis, SAF
- #36 Vernon Scott, SAF
- #53 Jonathan Garvin, OLB
- #69 David Bakhtiari, LT (knee)
- #3 Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back)