Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari was a non-participant in practice on Wednesday. One week after head coach Matt LaFleur stated that Bakhtiari would not practice in back-to-back practices, even when he was healthy enough to play in games, LaFleur responded, “I have no idea,” to the question of if Bakhtiari will play this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In all likelihood, Yosh Nijman will probably start at left tackle for the third time this season and the 11th time in his NFL career this Sunday. Earlier today, LaFleur said there would be no changes in the offensive gameplan if either Nijman or Bakhtiari start at the position, as Nijman has played well as a replacement.
Along with Bakhtiari, receiver Randall Cobb missed the Packers’ opening practice of the week with an illness. Receivers Allen Lazard (ankle), Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and Christian Watson (hamstring) were all limited participants, as were offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins (knee) and tight end Marcedes Lewis.
Lazard and Jenkins missed Week 1, but played in Week 2, due to the same injuries that they were listed for on Wednesday’s injury report. It’s worth noting that Jenkins no longer has the “knee/pectoral” designation that he was tabbed with recently, though.
The new injuries all involve the pass-catchers, as Watkins, Watson and Lewis didn’t miss time in last week’s game against the Chicago Bears. At this point, it should be expected that they will suit up against the Buccaneers, but we’ve seen how tricky soft tissue injuries can be.
Speaking of the Buccaneers, the following players missed Tampa’s first practice of the week: WR Chris Godwin (hamstring), DT Akiem Hicks (foot), WR Julio Jones (knee) TE Cade Otton (personal) and LT Donovan Smith (elbow.) It was announced yesterday that Hicks and offensive lineman Josh Wells were going to miss Week 3’s action. Wells was subsequently put on the injured reserve, which puts Brandon Walton (zero career starts) in a position to start at left tackle against the Packers if Smith cannot recover from the hyperextended elbow that kept him from playing in Week 2.
Jones, who was a game-time decision last week, was given a day of rest today, but the fact that he and Godwin weren’t on the field on the same day that Mike Evan’s suspension was upheld by the league is a concern for Tampa. Clearly, they need all the good injury news that they can get at the receiver and offensive line units.
Beyond the players who didn’t practice for the Buccaneers today, CB Carlton Davis (hip), RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring), WR Russell Gage (hamstring), C Robert Hainsey (knee), WR Scotty Miller (calf) and WR Breshad Perriman (knee) were listed as limited participants on Wednesday. Depending on if Jones and Godwin can go on Sunday, all of the limited participants are expected to contribute in Week 3, if healthy.