David Bakhtiari is now eligible to make his 2021 debut Sunday. The Packers activated their All-Pro left tackle from the PUP list Wednesday, the team announced.
The ninth-year blocker returned to practice nearly three weeks ago, but Green Bay has been cautious with his ramp-up. Wednesday marked the last day the Packers could activate him this year. While Bakhtiari is not a lock to suit up against the Seahawks, it would certainly be a big addition for the Packers, who are coming off a loss and a rather turbulent week.
Bakhtiari went down with an ACL tear during a New Year’s Eve practice and has spent nearly a year rehabbing. His injury played a key role in determining the NFC’s Super Bowl entrant last season, with Buccaneers edge rushers teeing off on the Packers’ tackles. Coming into this season, the most games Bakhtiari had missed in one campaign was four. He topped that more than a month ago.
Whenever the 30-year-old edge protector returns, it stands to reshuffle the Packers’ offensive line, which has used multiple left tackles this season. Versatile standout Elgton Jenkins, who has been the team’s primary Bakhtiari sub this year, will likely be shifted back to an interior role. Bakhtiari is a four-time Pro Bowler and has made two All-Pro first teams.
It is uncertain if Aaron Rodgers will be under center for the Packers. The reigning MVP remains on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, but he would be eligible to do so if symptom-free. Rodgers is eligible to return to the team Saturday. But the possibility the Packers could have the Rodgers-Bakhtiari tandem back would represent quite the change from how their offense looked in Kansas City.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.