Prior to their injury report being released, the Green Bay Packers announced the surprising news that left tackle David Bakhtiari had an appendectomy on Friday and will not play against the Chicago Bears this weekend. Bakhtiari (knee) missed Wednesday’s practice but was suited up on Thursday before being held out again on Friday. Until the Packers made their announcement, it was assumed that Bakhtiari did not practice due to his knee injury.
What a crazy day. Thought I may have strained my abdomen or something this morning so I brought it up to our team Doctor. Next thing I know, I’m having surgery. Did not expect this. Everything went well. Thank y’all! https://t.co/V2Fdn7Jmp8— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) December 2, 2022
Two players have played left tackle in Bakhtiari’s place this season: Yosh Nijman and Zach Tom. Nijman has been starting at right tackle since Elgton Jenkins was moved to left guard mid-season, which means that Tom is the likely starter on Aaron Rodgers’ blindside against a struggling Bears front.
#Packers LT David Bakhtiari (knee) is out for the #Bears game. Options to replace are Yosh Nijman, Zach Tom and Elgton Jenkins. ILB De'Vondre Campbell and WR Romeo Doubs are questionable. QBs Aaron Rodgers and Justin Fields have no game designation. pic.twitter.com/nMkUHF1EEm— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) December 2, 2022
Beyond Bakhtiari, three other Packers players were given injury statuses on Friday. Inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (knee) and receiver Romeo Doubs (ankle) were listed as questionable. If either suits up in Chicago, it will be their first game played in a month. Safety Darnell Savage (foot) did not practice all week and was officially listed as doubtful. It should be assumed that Rudy Ford will make his second straight start this weekend.
Like Rodgers, the Bears have officially ruled their starting quarterback in for this game. Justin Fields (shoulder) was a full participant in back-to-back practices to end the week. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stated earlier in the week that the team was game-planning to face Fields, rather than multiple quarterback options, on Sunday.
Offensive lineman Larry Borom (ankle/knee), safety Jaquan Brisker (concussion), cornerback Kyler Gordon (concussion) and backup quarterback Trevor Siemian (oblique) were ruled out by Chicago on Friday. With Siemian out of the picture, the Bears’ backup quarterback will be the recently claimed Tim Boyle, who was formerly a backup under Rodgers in Green Bay.
Chicago also listed right tackle Riley Reiff (back) and third cornerback Kindle Vildor (ankle) as questionable. The Bears are running thin on depth and they’ll need both of those players to dress this weekend. Reiff’s backup, Borom, was already ruled out and Vildor is just one of two preferred starters in Chicago’s nickel secondary that is available for this game.
If Rodgers has any chance to throw 300-plus yards in a single game this season, it’s probably in this matchup.