The Green Bay Packers are placing two-time All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari on injured reserve, the team announced hours before kickoff on “Thursday Night Football” against the Detroit Lions.
NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero broke the news, adding there’s a chance Bakhtiari could miss the rest of the season with his knee injury.
Bakhtiari has missed the past two games with an issue that stems from the torn ACL that ended his 2020 season after 12 games. He’s played in 13 total contests since the injury, and now he’ll miss at least the next four.
This is a tough loss, but is a blow the Packers can survive.
Despite only having Bakhtiari for Week 1, the Packers offensive line is the top unit heading into Week 4, according to Pro Football Focus. Second-year tackle Rasheed Walker has filled in nicely for Bakhtiari, allowing just two QB pressures in the last two games with no sacks.
“He’s athletic, he’s not lacking confidence at all,” Packers offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich told USA Today about the 2022 seventh-round draft pick from Penn State. “That, coupled with just good physicality, good mentality, he’s got a lot of tools.”
There is some good injury news for Green Bay ahead of “Thursday Night Football.”
Pelissero told NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Thursday morning that wide receiver Christian Watson and running back Aaron Jones are both expected to play after recovering from hamstring injuries.
Jones played in Week 1 and was in the midst of a monster performance before grabbing his hamstring on a 35-yard touchdown catch. Watson, meanwhile, is making his 2023 debut after bursting onto the scene as an big-play threat as a rookie in 14 games last season.
Pelissero said he expects Watson to be on a snap count as he gets up to game speed, while Jones should get close to his normal workload in Green Bay’s multiple-running back offense.
While, the leadership of Bakhtiari will certainly be missed by quarterback Jordan Love and his fellow offensive lineman, Green Bay should have the depth to weather his absence.