There’s no way to tell for sure if the Green Bay Packers would have been able to hold off the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in their Week 2 matchup if David Bakhtiari was playing. The two-time All-Pro tackle still remains one of the most important players on the squad, and his injury absence against the Falcons was felt as Green Bay suffered their first loss of the season, 25-24.
Green Bay failed to get on the board in the fourth and final quarter, thereby allowing Atlanta to complete a comeback victory. Perhaps Bakhtiari’s presence could have made a significant impact on the outcome of the game had it not been for his injured knee.
David Bakhtiari Speaks Out on Knee Injury
There may be more to Bakhtiari’s injury than what’s on the surface — at least in the minds of some folks out there. There are rumors circulating that the 31-year-old purposely skipped the Falcons game amid his ongoing gripe with the NFL’s decision to utilize artificial turf fields. Atlanta’s Mercedez-Benz stadium features a turf field.
Bakhtiari himself made it clear, however, that his decision to sit out the Falcons game had nothing to do with the turf:
“If I wasn’t going to play on turf, I’d probably make more of a ruckus,” Bakhtiari said on Wednesday, via Bill Huber of SI. “My brother (Eric) loves drama and he told me he was going to do it and I’m like, ‘Go right ahead, I don’t give a s**t. I don’t care what you do. It’s your social media.’ No, that was not the reason. At all. I clearly have an injury I’ve been dealing with.”
The man has a point. Bakhtiari is the type who speaks his mind on seemingly any and all occasions, and he probably would have made a bigger fuss if he was protesting the use of turf by not playing against the Falcons on Sunday.
For those that require context, Bakhtiari was referring to a cryptic tweet his brother sent out prior to the Falcons game. The tweet simply added more fuel to the fire:
— Eric Bakhtiari (@ebak92) September 17, 2023
Did David Bakhtiari Ditch Green Bay Packers Teammates?
There were some Packers supporters who started calling Bakhtiari out for supposedly sitting out the game on purpose to deliver a point. The three-time Pro Bowler addressed this audacious claims with a straightforward response:
“I would never leave them hanging out to dry,” Bakhtiari said. “I signed up to play. I plan on playing. And when I can play, I’m going to play. Clearly, if I’m not playing, there’s something going on. It’s not like it’s been a secret. It’s something I’ve been battling with and it’s been shitty. It’s been weighing on me a lot.
“You think I don’t want to play? You think I want to be a great football player and then just disappear? (Heck) no. I appreciate Gutey [general manager Brian Gutekunst]. We’ve had plenty of talks. He’s been amazing with me and being even able to vent to him about it. It’s just been extremely stressful. But the human side, just been sitting here quietly and saying whatever it is, I just have to take it for what it is.”
In spite of his forthright declaration here, however, you can be sure that the conspiracy theorists out there will still have a thing or two to say about the connection between Bakhtiari’s injury absence and his protests against the use of turf.
At the moment, Bakhtiari’s status for Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints remains uncertain.
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