Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari was at practice today for the first time since his emergency appendectomy on the Friday of Week 13 leading up to the Chicago Bears game. The Packers officially listed him as limited on Wednesday. This move was expected, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers foreshadowed Bakhtiari’s participation with his comments on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday.
One surprise on the injury report today was Rodgers being listed as a non-participant. Rodgers was given a right thumb/knee designation on Wednesday. The quarterback had suited up for every practice since the bye week, with a rib injury and thumb injury bothering him before then. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky stated that the new knee injury is “not expected to impact his availability for Sunday.”
Along with Bakhtiari, left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee), running back Aaron Jones (knee/ankle) and right tackle Yosh Nijman (shoulder) were also limited participants in practice. Jones was on a pitch count throughout last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins while Nijman left the game and had to be replaced by Royce Newman with Zach Tom, the team’s swing lineman, already in the lineup at left tackle for Bakhtiari.
The non-participants in practice today, besides Rodgers, were cornerback/returner Keisean Nixon (groin) and receiver Christian Watson (hip). Yesterday, Rodgers stated that he believed Nixon was going to “try and play this week.” Both Nixon and Watson left the Dolphins game due to injury.
Only three Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ opponent this week, were given injury designations on Wednesday: starting center Garrett Bradbury (back, non-participant), starting left guard Ezra Cleveland (shoulder, limited) and defensive lineman James Lynch (shoulder, non-participant). Injuries up front could be a big break for Green Bay after their starting 3-4 defensive end Dean Lowry was placed on the injured on Tuesday. Against the Dolphins, rookie first-round pick Devonte Wyatt set a career-high 24 defensive snaps in Lowry’s absence.
Update: Aaron Rodgers said in the locker room after practice that he will practice on Thursday, per Ryan Wood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. According to Wood, Rodgers considered Wednesday’s practice a veteran’s day off due to fluid buildup in his knee during the flight back home from Miami.