The Green Bay Packers don’t definitively know if left tackle David Bakhtiari will be full-go when the team opens training camp July 27.
“We fully anticipate him being ready to go but we did last year as well, so I think time will tell,” coach Matt LaFleur said Tuesday. “We feel good about the work he’s put in and where he’s at.”
Bakhtiari tore the ACL in his left knee on the final day of 2020. He underwent surgery and reports had him ahead of schedule in his return to the field last offseason. But after starting the year on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, the All-Pro underwent a procedure to clean up some issues in the knee in November. The hope was he would be good to go for the playoffs. That seemed to be the case, as he suited up against the Detroit Lions in the season finale. He made it just 27 plays before calling it a day and was not active two weeks later in the playoff loss to San Francisco.
Bakhtiari detailed his struggles with fluid build up in his knee to Cheesehead TV after the season and noted all he could do for the issue was rest. That’s played out this offseason, as he did not take part in any of the on-field work in OTAs and was part of the rehab group during last week’s minicamp.
His injury situation is not the only one worth watching. Three other players — do-it-all offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan and running back Kylin Hill — are all coming off torn ACLs of their own. Tonyan and Hill were injured Oct. 28 in Arizona, while Jenkins went down three weeks later in Minnesota.
“They are all making progress but we’ll have a better idea as we get closer to training camp,” LaFleur said. “Those are some really important players for us. They’ve been doing well while they’ve been here.”
Green Bay is finishing up its offseason program this week with more voluntary OTAs.