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Packers give Bakhtiari a day off Thursday, but Rodgers returns to mid-week practice

Heading towards their week 18 contest in Detroit, the Packers sat down their rehabbing All-Pro tackle, but it may not represent a setback in his progress.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

One day after being a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari did not participate in Thursday’s session.

However, this is not necessarily a setback for the All-Pro, who is continuing to work his way back from a torn ACL suffered on New Year’s Eve of 2020. Head coach Matt LaFleur told the media before Thursday’s practice that the team had planned all week to give Bakhtiari a day off today before going again in practice on Friday. LaFleur noted that Bakhtiari had “great work” on Wednesday, a good sign for his availability in Friday’s session.

If he does take the field tomorrow, that could put Bakhtiari in position to play for the first time in over a year on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. LaFleur said that him suiting up on game day this weekend is “part of the discussion,” a sign that the team would like to get him some regular season snaps to start priming him for the postseason — if his body allows it.

It has been a long road back for Bakhtiari, as this injury was the first one that cost him a significant amount of time in his professional career, but LaFleur’s comments sound optimistic that he may be able to contribute to the team’s playoff run.

While Bakhtiari took a seat today, the man he would protect if he returns was working on a Thursday for the first time in several weeks. Since his toe injury appeared, Aaron Rodgers has only practiced on Fridays in the team’s final game walkthroughs, and even then he has done so on an inconsistent basis. But for the first time in about two months, Rodgers was on the field for a Thursday practice today, appearing as a limited participant on the injury report.

Rodgers’ status is a good sign that his toe is continuing to progress well, especially when combined with his comments about feeling good coming out of Sunday night’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Should he escape Detroit unscathed this weekend, Rodgers will have a full week off to continue healing up thanks to the team’s clinching of the top seed in the NFC playoffs and locking in a first-round bye.

Other than those two players, the Packers’ injury report on Thursday had few surprises. Veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis received his typical rest day on Thursday, while defensive end Kingsley Keke remains out, listed with an illness. The only other change on the report involves tight end Dominique Dafney, who was upgraded from limited participation on Wednesday to full participation.

Here’s the full injury report for Thursday.

  • OT David Bakhtiari (DNP, knee)
  • LB De’Vondre Campbell (limited, elbow)
  • TE Dominique Dafney (full, ankle)
  • RB Aaron Jones (limited, knee)
  • DL Kingsley Keke (DNP, illness)
  • TE Marcedes Lewis (DNP, veteran rest)
  • QB Aaron Rodgers (limited, toe)