The Green Bay Packers dropped their Week Two contest with the Atlanta Falcons 25-24. It was a game that the Packers should have won. They had a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter despite being without three of their best offensive players: Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, and David Bakhtiari.
Jones and Watson missed the game due to hamstring injuries and were ruled on late Saturday night. Bakhtiari was listed as questionable all week due to his knee, which has been a point of contention between himself and Packers fans for nearly three years.
Ever since Bakhtiari injured his knee, there have been fans that have been unhappy with how long it took him to rehab, how much he is being paid, and how many games he has been able to play. When it was announced before the game that Bakhtiari would not be playing, and then when the Packers went on to lose the game, fans took to social media to call out Bakhtiari once again.
Green Bay Packers Fans Accuse David Bakhtiari of Not Playing Due to the Artificial Turf in Atlanta
Last week, former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles on the fourth snap of his season. In the aftermath, Bakhtiari (along with other current and former players) bemoaned the fact that the NFL allows its teams to use artificial turf, which statistically causes more injuries than natural grass.
When Bakhtiari was reported to be inactive for the game in Atlanta, many fans accused him of ducking the game to avoid playing on artificial turf:
So David Bakhtiari played all last week. Suddenly becomes questionable & out without practicing once. He misses a game on artificial turf. He’s doing this out of protest or what? Thanks for the L if that’s what is is.
— Wisconsin Family (@Wisconsin_fam) September 17, 2023
I wonder if part of the discussion between David Bakhtiari and the Packers entering the season was just not playing any games on turf. Little practice, no turf games in an effort to make sure he’s available and healthy for all the other games.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) September 17, 2023
If David Bakhtiari can’t/won’t play on turf, he can’t be their starting LT next season. https://t.co/D7KyGPa3fh
— Jacob (@NotionsOfJacob) September 17, 2023
Questions are being asked on the ESPN Milwaukee Packers pre-game show about David Bakhtiari being inactive today. They’re wondering if DBak himself is choosing to sit out because today’s game is being played on artificial turf.
— Pack-Cat🧀💚💛 (@BradleyBlomgre1) September 17, 2023
This is just an assumption, but I have to wonder how much of David Bakhtiari not playing today has to do with him and the Packers not wanting to risk his knee on turf.
— Kassidy Hill (@KassidyGHill) September 17, 2023
Also David Bakhtiari definitely didn’t play because it was turf and not grass and you can’t convince me otherwise lol I get making a business decision for yourself, but God did we need him today
— Jeffrey Joseph (@jeffrey_joseph8) September 17, 2023
david bakhtiari not wanting to play on turf might be what gets jordan love killed
— zach jacobson (@itszacharyj) September 17, 2023
Real chance David Bakhtiari doesn’t play on turf fields this season
— Zach Brunner (@FantasyFlurry) September 17, 2023
After that sack, it’s a good time to discuss David Bakhtiari. I asked him point blank this week if he will consider skipping games played on turf due to his injury history and strong opinion against them. He told me that wasn’t an appropriate conversation. But he’s missing today.
— Dave Schroeder (@SchroederWBAY) September 17, 2023
Are we allowed to be mad that Bakhtiari won’t play on turf or are we all supposed to be in solidarity with him? Because I am mad
— Bart Winkler (@WinksThinks) September 17, 2023
David Bakhtiari putting his foot down and not playing on turf this year? Could be problematic for the Packers. https://t.co/FvrfpfU7e3
— Christian Williams (@CWilliamsNFL) September 17, 2023
After the game, head coach Matt LaFleur refused to give a straight answer as to why Bakhtiari did not play. He did say, though, that this day-to-day status is going to be what it is like for the rest of the season.
The Packers play four more games on artificial turf this year, and they all come between Weeks 12-17.