Despite playing most of Week 4’s action against the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari only played 25 snaps in Week 5 in London against the New York Giants. It’s hard to get a beat on when Bakhtiari will take over full-time at the position, as he has fluctuated from playing 56 percent to 96 percent to 40 percent of the team’s offensive snaps since he has returned to the lineup.
On Monday, head coach Matt LaFleur was asked about the rotation between Bakhtiari and Yosh Nijman at left tackle and this is what he had to say:
Reporter: With David and the rotation yesterday, what was the thought process with that, especially in the second half? Was he displeased at all with the approach that you guys took?
LaFleur: Not to my knowledge. We were very mindful. That was a long flight over there. Playing on turf, so, just taking everything into consideration we thought that was the right thing to do for him to make sure that he stays with us for the duration of the season. He’s still working his way back into this thing too, let’s not forget about that. It’s pretty early in the fact that he’s only played a couple of games now. Don’t get me wrong, he’s done a really nice job for us and we’re happy he’s back, but we wanna make sure we’re smart about it, too, because, like we’ve said all along, it is a marathon.
The playing surface and the travel make sense as reasons why Bakhtiari played less than half of the team’s snaps against New York. In Week 3, Bakhtiari’s first game back, LaFleur mentioned that the weather in Tampa was a key factor in deciding to split the snaps on a drive-by-drive basis. After the game, LaFleur stated, “Is it gonna be something we do next week? I don’t know that,” before Bakhtiari played all but three snaps in his Lambeau Field debut the very next Sunday.
Who knows when Bakhtiari will finally play 100 percent of the team’s left tackle snaps, but whenever he does, you can be sure Packers fans will be asking Nijman to kick out to right tackle. Elgton Jenkins, a long-time guard, has been playing right tackle this season and has struggled while doing so, leading to many asking if he should be moved back to guard. Last week, Acme Packing Company polled fans to ask who their ideal right tackle starter was, with 65 percent responding Nijman, 25 percent responding rookie Zach Tom and just 10 percent believing Jenkins is the answer at right tackle.
For reference, here are the surface types that the Packers will be playing on for the remainder of the season:
- Week 6: Grass (Lambeau Field)
- Week 7: Grass
- Week 8: Turf
- Week 9: Turf
- Week 10: Grass (Lambeau Field)
- Week 11: Grass (Lambeau Field)
- Week 12: Grass
- Week 13: Grass
- Week 14: Bye week
- Week 15: Grass (Lambeau Field)
- Week 16: Grass
- Week 17: Grass (Lambeau Field)
- Week 18: Grass (Lambeau Field)
The good news is that Green Bay will only play on turf twice for the remainder of the 2022 regular season, back-to-back in Week 8 and Week 9 against the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions. If you’re looking forward to the playoffs, the teams in the NFC that play on turf are the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Lions, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Giants and Seattle Seahawks.