Packers lose Elgton Jenkins to torn ACL, Bakhtiari’s return date unclear

The Green Bay Packers have lost another vital piece to the offense.

According to ESPN, left tackle Elgton Jenkins suffered a torn ACL in the loss to Minnesota on Sunday. The injury will end his season.

“It’s unfortunate, certainly. Elgton’s been a big part of this team, and still is a big part of this team, but he just won’t be out there with us,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “It’s just one of those deals that it’s an unfortunate part of our game, and we’ve had a lot of guys, unfortunately, have to go through this this year.”

Jenkins is the most versatile lineman on the team and was forced into playing left tackle with David Bakhtiari still recovering from a torn ACL. The third-year lineman from Mississippi State has played all five positions along the line and was a Pro Bowl selection at left guard last season.

With Bakhtiari’s return date still unknown, the Packers will likely have to rely on Yosh Nijman at left tackle. He started three games earlier this season when Jenkins was hurt and held up against some of the better pass rush units in the league.

“I think every time that a guy goes out there and is able to perform at a high level you just see their confidence build,” LaFleur said. “I think that is so important in this game — shoot in life — but especially in the game of football. When you see guys that are confident out there they’re able to execute at a higher level. And I think Yosh has all the traits you look for in an offensive lineman. He’s big, he’s athletic, he can bend, he’s strong, he’s powerful, everything. It’s just about putting it all together on a consistent basis.”

Nijman may be asked to hold the spot down for another few weeks because Bakhtiari definitely won’t be back to face Los Angeles on Sunday. He hasn’t played since suffering a torn ACL last December. He started the year on the physically unable to perform list but was able to practice was eventually activated two weeks ago. However, he hasn’t practiced since Nov. 11 and it’s unclear when he will again.

There’s a there’s certainly a plan, but not everything goes as planned all the time,” LaFleur said of Bakhtiari’s recovery. “We’ll see where he’s at after the bye (week). Like I said, we’re hopeful that he’ll be able to come back this year at some point. It certainly isn’t for a lack of work ethic on his part, it’s not for lack of toughness. It’s just one of those things that you never quite know how everybody’s going to respond to the recovery process and I think that’s just where we’re at with him.”