David Bakhtiari

Packers Rework OL David Bakhtiari’s Contract

The Packers continue to open up some cap space. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter), the team has reworked left tackle David Bakhtiari‘s contract.

[RELATED: Packers Restructure Aaron Jones’ Contract]

Specifically, the organization converted $11.58MM of Bakhtiari‘s 2022 compensation into a signing bonus. This move created “significant cap space” for the summer. In 2020, the Packers inked Bakhtiari to a four-year, $105.5MM extension that made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

It didn’t take long for the 2013 fourth-round pick to emerge into a starter, as the rookie lineman started 16 games at left tackle that season. The lineman has continually improved, culminating in him earning five-straight All-Pro nods (including a pair of first-team honors) between 2016 and 2020.

The veteran tore his ACL toward the end of the 2020 campaign, and he only managed to see the field for one contest during the 2021 season. Still, today’s transaction is consistent with GM Brian Gutekunst‘s recent remarks regarding his expectations for a clean bill of health for Bakhtiari in 2022 (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).

In a January interview with CheeseheadTV.com, which is well-worth a read for Packers fans, Bakhtiari himself detailed his struggles to return to the field in 2021, including the second surgery he underwent in November and the troubling fluid buildups in his knee. Like Gutekunst, though, Bakhtiari does not anticipate any health issues going forward, and he says his knee is structurally sound.

The Packers front office has been busy this week. The team also reworked the contracts of running back Aaron Jones and defensive tackle Kenny Clark.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

David Bakhtiari Not Playing Vs. Niners

Nine-year veteran tackle David Bakhtiari missed nearly the entire 2021 NFL season after tearing his ACL on New Year’s Eve during the 2020 season. Unfortunately, he will have to continue waiting to play in his first playoff game since January of 2019, as the team announced, via Twitter, that he will be inactive for tonight’s game against the 49ers. 

Bakhtiari had made a return for the Packers’ regular season finale, making the start in Detroit, but only playing 40% of the team’s offensive snaps. Head Coach Matt LaFleur shook off the early exit in a postgame press conference stating, “I wouldn’t say it’s anything we’re concerned about,” but it appears some continual discomfort throughout the week will keep the two-time All Pro from making a postseason return, just yet.

In the absence of Bakhtiari this year, the Packers have employed Elgton Jenkins at the blindside tackle position. Despite the reshuffled offensive line and several other injuries to key players, Green Bay still secured a first-round bye and homefield advantage. They will work tonight to extend their season another week and give Bakhtiari at least one more chance for a postseason return.

Other inactives for the Packers listed for the game tonight were safeties Shawn Davis & Vernon Scott, linebacker Jonathan Garvin, and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The 49ers will be without cornerbacks Ambry Thomas & Deommodore Lenoir, safety Jarrod Wilson, running back Trey Sermon, linebacker Marcell Harris, offensive lineman Jaylon Moore, and defensive lineman Maurice Hurst. Packers’ cornerback Jaire Alexander is expected to play tonight after being listed as questionable.

Latest On Packers’ Injured Players

Despite many of their top players not seeing much action this season, the Packers secured the NFC’s No. 1 seed for a second straight year. Green Bay’s injured players have additional time to prepare for the playoffs, thanks to the first-round bye, and some are rounding into form.

David Bakhtiari has not played since suffering an ACL tear during practice on New Year’s Eve 2020. However, the All-Pro left tackle practiced fully for the first time this season Friday. He is questionable for Sunday’s game in Detroit. Matt LaFleur said the ninth-year veteran blocker looked “really good” in practice this week, and although the third-year HC will not commit to playing him Sunday, a return for the Packers’ first playoff game should now be expected (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky).

Out since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 4, Jaire Alexander is ramping up after being activated from IR recently. LaFleur said the Pro Bowl cornerback will not play in Week 18. Alexander returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, and the lack of practice time this week led to LaFleur’s decision to keep him on ice another week. Signs point to Alexander returning for Green Bay’s first playoff game.

Center Josh Myers will return against the Lions, LaFleur said. The Packers officially activated Myers from IR, and he has no injury designation going into Sunday’s game. The second-round rookie has been out since suffering a knee injury on the first drive of the Packers’ Week 6 game.

Lucas Patrick has taken over at center and is in line to keep that first-string gig this week, but LaFleur is not ruling out Myers returning as a starter in the playoffs, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. A scenario in which both are in the team’s starting lineup will almost certainly be in play.

Although the team designated Randall Cobb for return last week, the veteran slot receiver will not come back against the Lions. This adds up, with Cobb’s core injury requiring several weeks’ worth of rehab. Cobb is tracking toward a playoff return, Demovsky tweets. Regarding Aaron Rodgers‘ status for the Detroit rematch, he will start. LaFleur did not necessarily plan to start the MVP favorite, indicating he does not believe Rodgers needs to play Sunday. But the QB prefers to start, Silverstein tweets.

Packers’ David Bakhtiari Out Vs. Ravens

In advance of what could be a division-clinching win, the Packers learned that they will still not have the services of their best offensive linemen. Left tackle David Bakhtiari is out for Week 15 against the Ravens, reports Tom Silverstein of the Green Bay Post-Gazette

Bakhtiari practiced throughout the week, the first time he was able to do so after sitting out three weeks due to his second left knee surgery. The 30-year-old has not played in 2021, after his initial injury last New Year’s Eve. Green Bay has missed the four-time Pro Bowler all year, of course, but especially so since losing Elgton Jenkins in November. Look for the team to continue with Yosuah NijmanDennis Kelly and Billy Turner at offensive tackle.

While providing the update on Bakhtiari, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur added that defensive tackle Kenny Clark is unlikely to play. The 26-year-old was added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, giving him little time to become available by Sunday. The 2019 Pro Bowler has 42 tackles and four sacks this season. In his absence, fifth-round rookie T.J. Slaton could start at nose guard.

Despite those setbacks, the Packers will still be favored to win in Baltimore, especially if Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is unable to play. A victory on Sunday would seal the NFC North title for Green Bay, as would a loss by the Vikings against the Bears.

Latest On Packers’ David Bakhtiari

Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero). That means Bakhtiari won’t be able to practice or play this week, but the procedure should enable him to return sometime before the season is through. 

[RELATED: Packers’ Jenkins Done For Year]

Bakhtiari tore his ACL at the tail end of December 2020, forcing him to undergo reconstructive surgery in January. He was clearly missed in the playoffs, as the Buccaneers’ front seven rushed the Packers’ backfield with ease. Now, in the wake of Elgton Jenkins‘ own ACL tear, the Packers need him more than ever.

The All-Pro left tackle was activated from the PUP list earlier this month, making him eligible for his 2021 debut. He’s still a few weeks away from seeing the field, but the clean-up surgery is expected to put him on the right track.

Before the injury, Bakhtiari had never missed more than four games in one season. One of the game’s best protectors when healthy, Bakhtiari has earned four Pro Bowl selections and and two First-Team All-Pro nods.

For now, the Packers will be leaning heavily on Yosuah Nijman, Dennis Kelly, and other would-be reserves to hold down the fort. They’ll be short-staffed on Sunday when they host the Rams this week, but Bakhtiari may be ready to face the Bears on Dec. 12, after the Packers’ Week 13 bye.

Packers Activate T David Bakhtiari

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.

Packers’ David Bakhtiari To Practice This Week

All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari will practice this week, according to Packers head coach Matt LaFleur (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). This will trigger a three-week return window for the lineman now that his ACL is mostly good to go.

[RELATED: Panthers, WFT Wanted Jaylon Smith]

Bakhtiari, 30, opened the year on the PUP list. He’s served as Green Bay’s starting left tackle ever since his 2013 rookie season and has blossomed into one of the league’s best. Bakhtiari earned first-team All-Pro acclaim twice between 2018-2020 and his absence was clearly felt in the NFC championship game. Bucs edge rushers Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett had a field day with Green Bay’s healthy tackles, underscoring his importance to the offense.

Even though Bakhtiari will practice, LaFleur isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to face the Washington Football Team this week. “There is a ramp up period,” LaFleur cautioned (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).

Packers Cut 26 Players

The Packers cut their roster down to 52 players today, providing the organization with some extra flexibility over the next few days. The team announced the following transactions:

Waived

Released

Placed on Reserve/PUP

Placed on Reserve/Suspended

David Bakhtiari To Begin Season On PUP List

The Packers will begin their season without David Bakhtiari. The All-Pro left tackle will be transferred to the reserve/PUP list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Moving Bakhtiari from the active/PUP list to the reserve/PUP list will shelve the decorated blocker for at least the season’s first six games. Bakhtiari suffered a torn ACL during a practice on New Year’s Eve and has been working his way back.

Bakhtiari, who will turn 30 during his stay on the PUP list, has been Green Bay’s starting left tackle since his 2013 rookie season. He has become one of the NFL’s best tackles, earning first-team All-Pro acclaim in two of the past three years. His absence was noticeable in the NFC championship game, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett getting the better of Green Bay’s tackles.

Standout interior lineman Elgton Jenkins lined up inside in that game but has slid to left tackle in Bakhtiari’s absence, giving Green Bay an interesting option. Jenkins has played both guard and center in his first two seasons, becoming an instant starter and impact player for the Packers, and will now be on track to work on the O-line’s highest-profile position to start the season. The Pack also roster Billy Turner and former Titans tackle Dennis Kelly, providing options while Bakhtiari finishes out his recovery.

Latest On Packers OT David Bakhtiari

David Bakhtiari‘s 2020 campaign came to an end when he suffered a torn ACL in late December.While the All-Pro offensive lineman naturally wants to be in the lineup for Week 1, he acknowledged that he’s more focused on getting back to full health.

“This is my first time going through this, so I’m just going to attack every day, try to hit every benchmark I can,” Bakhtiari said (via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal). “And once ‘Doc’ can check me off, I can check myself and I can go out there and not only perform and protect myself but perform at the level that the Packers need me to, I think that’s where you’ll see me return, on that date.”

The start of the 2021 season will mark about eight months since the All-Pro lineman suffered the injury, which would definitely be a bit quick for a return from an ACL injury. The Packers surely wouldn’t want to do anything to compromise the health of the three-time Pro Bowler and five-team All Pro (including two first-team nods), especially following another successful season in 2020 where he ranked as the second overall offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus.

Plus, besides preserving the future health of one of their best players, the team also invested some big money in keeping Bakhtiari in Green Bay. Back in November, the team signed the 29-year-old to a whopping four-year, $92MM contract, making him one of the highest-paid linemen in league history. Both sides slightly reworked that contract earlier this offseason, but the move merely pushed some money down the road, helping the Packers’ 2021 cap sheet.

Assuming Bakhtiari is sidelined for the start of the 2021 season, the Packers have a handful of options that they could turn to at left tackle. Billy Turner played both tackles spots in 2020, and he’ll presumably start at one of the two positions to begin the season. Opposite him, the team could temporarily turn to the likes of fourth-round rookie Royce Newman or fifth-round rookie Cole Van Lanen.