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Packers’ David Bakhtiari talks to Peter King about his knee status

“This year is definitely night and day compared to last year.”

Philadelphia Eagles v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The health of Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari continues to be a storyline. Since tearing his ACL in 2020, Bakhtiari has only played in 12 regular season games, creating insecurity on the offensive line on a week-to-week basis. The hope for Packers fans, going into 2023’s practices, was that Bakhtiari’s knee had finally returned to full health — allowing the team to bank on Bakhtiari starting a full season as first-year starting quarterback Jordan Love’s blindside bookend.

Since the start of mandatory practices, though, Bakhtiari has essentially been playing a one-day-on, one-day-off schedule, which head coach Matt LaFleur has called a “modified” practice schedule. Leading up to the Packers’ Family Night practice last week, LaFleur also claimed that Bakhtiari would play in the scrimmage, which Bakhtiari eventually didn’t. To some, that raised a red flag about Bakhtiari’s health status.

In a recent interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Bakhtiari calmed down some of those nerves by explaining the difference in his health that he feels now and compared to where he was at a year ago. Clearly, he’s optimistic going into the 2023 regular season.

DB: This year is definitely night and day compared to last year.

PT: How so?

DB: I was just trying not to drown, is the best way to put it. A lot of times, I felt like I was going into games with like one hand stapped behind my back.

PT: You just never really felt right?

DB: That and then having so many compounded surgeries right before the season. I always look at the offseason as the ability to put on armor. You know, build up strength to endure the season. I never even got those opportunities. From when I tore my knee on New Year’s Eve 2020, I was always showing up at the start of the season transitioning straight from physical therapy to football.

You can find the full video of Bakhtiari and King’s conversation below. The quotes taken from this video begin at about six minutes in.