Green Bay has placed five-time All-Pro offensive lineman David Bakhtiari on the PUP list ahead of Packers training camp. Bakhtiari joins nine other players on the list as training camp begins. Other players on the list include Christian Watson, Mason Crosby, and Patrick Taylor. Elgton Jenkins, Robert Tonyan, and Kylin Hill were all added to the list, but all were expected to be there due to ACL recovery.
While there are different levels of concern regarding each of the players on the PUP list ahead of Packers training camp, there was, understandably, a great outpouring of frustration from Packers fans on social media when the news of Bakhtiari’s addition was made:
I really do wonder how much extra damage David Bakhtiari playing in that meaningless week 18 game did to his knee.
Terrible decision by LaFleur and Co.
— Jacob (@NotionsOfJacob) July 23, 2022
Looks like your career is over smdh
— moe bunch (@JohnRhoda2921) July 24, 2022
The #Packers maintaining an explosive offense sans Davante Adams was already going to be difficult. I’m afraid not having David Bakhtiari makes it exponentially worse. He’s the second best player on the field behind AR12. Let’s hope this is all precautionary.
— Brandon Carwile (@PackerScribe) July 24, 2022
It would be great if David Bakhtiari could play a damn game of football
— Xero34XX ⚾️ ⛳️ (@Xero341) July 24, 2022
It is understandable to be frustrated that a player who is being paid $92 million to play football has not been able to get on the field. That said, it’s not like David Bakhtiari went out there and purposefully tore his ACL. Additionally, all is not lost. In fact, there are several reasons to believe that the Packers offense can be dominant without him.
#1- Adam Stenovich Will Make Do Without David Bakhtiari
There is a reason that last year’s offensive line coach was promoted to offensive coordinator. Adam Stenavich (“Steno”) is an offensive line guru who guided the Packers offensive line through numerous injuries last season. If anyone can ensure that the Packers get the most out of each of their linemen, it’s him.
#2- The Green Bay Packers Were 5-0 Without David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins in the Finals Weeks of the Season
Another member of the Packers offensive line, Elgton Jenkins, tore his ACL in November last season and missed the team’s last six games. Jenkins was also placed on the PUP list ahead of Packers training camp. David Bakhtiari only played 27 snaps in the Packers’ Week 18 loss to the Detroit Lions, a game they did not “need” to win. In the five games without either Jenkins or Bakhtiari on the line, the Packers went 5-0.
Week 12: Packers 36 Rams 28
The rams sacked Aaron Rodgers just once and hit five times on 82 offensive plays. He threw for two touchdowns and had a 97.2 passer rating. AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones combined for 92 rushing yards. The five starting offensive linemen were Jon Runyan, Lucas Patrick, Yosh Nijman, Royce Newman, and Billy Turner. All five played 100% of the offensive snaps.
Week 14: Packers 45 Bears 30
The Bears sacked Aaron Rodgers three times and hit him four times on 65 offensive plays. He also threw four touchdowns and had a passer rating of 141.1. Additionally, the Packers rushed for 120 yards, led by AJ Dillon’s 71 rushing yards. The same linemen that started Week 12 started this game, but Billy Turner left with an injury and was replaced by Dennis Kelly.
Week 15: Packers 31 Ravens 30
Aaron Rodgers was once again sacked three times and hit four times on 70 offensive plays. He had another stellar outing, throwing three touchdown passes with a passer rating of 132.2. Rodgers and the Packers running backs combined for 96 rushing yards. Dennis Kelly started the game with the “regular” starters. All five starters played 100% of the offensive snaps.
Week 16: Packers 24 Browns 22
Aaron Rodgers was not sacked once for the first time without either Elgton Jenkins or David Bakhtiari on the field. The Packers played a total of 59 offensive snaps. The Browns hit Rodgers hit four times, but he threw three touchdowns and had a 115.1 passer rating. The Packers’ running attack totaled 109 yards on the ground. It would have been more if not for a -10 yard run by Equanimeous St. Brown. Lucas Patrick, Jon Runyan, Dennis Kelly, and Royce Newman all played 100% of the offense’s snaps. Yosh Nijman played all but three snaps (95%) with Ben Braden subbing in on those plays.
Week 17: Packers 47 Vikings 10
The Packers offensive line kept Aaron Rodgers off the ground for the second consecutive week. On 75 offensive plays, the Vikings hit Rodgers just three times. He threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns and had a passer rating of 114.1. Rodgers combined with Jordan Love and the three running backs to rack up 174 yards on the ground. Yosh Nijman and Royce Newman all played 100% of the snaps. The other starters played all but one snap, with Ben Braden, Josh Hansen, and Cole Van Lanen getting the kneel-down snap.
The Packers’ Averages without David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins
The most important stat, of course, is that in five games, the Packers came away with five wins. However, it is also nice to see other encouraging stats as we look ahead to 2022. Without David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins on the field:
- The Packers averaged 36.6 points per game.
- Aaron Rodgers threw for 2.8 touchdowns per game.
- The offensive line allowed 1.4 sacks per game and four quarterback hits per game.
- Green Bay rushed for 118.2 yards per game.
By the way, Elgton Jenkins also missed three games early in the season. The Packers won all three of those games too (against the 49ers, Steelers, and Bengals).
No. 3: Yosh Nijman is a Serviable Backup for David Bakhtiari
Of course, the main concern is the left tackle position on the Packers offensive line. Protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blindside will be one of the keys to the offense’s success. The good news is that Yosh Nijman proved up to the task last season. Not only did Nijman stay healthy all season and play in all 17 games, but he also played 590 offensive snaps and allowed just three sacks. In Week 3 against the 49ers, Nijman did not allow a single quarterback pressure against one of the toughest pass-rushing attacks in the NFL.
Conclusion on David Bakhtiari Landing on PUP List
It is important to note that just because David Bakhtiari is on the PUP list now heading into Packers training camp does not mean he will miss any time during the season. He may be well enough to start Week 1 on the Packers offensive line. Then again, he might not. There is no question that if he is out, Yosh Nijman will be the starting left tackle. The only question that remains is who will start at right tackle. Currently, the Packers’ depth chart lists Cole Van Lanen as the second right tackle. Green Bay may see one of their drafted linemen, namely Sean Rhyan, get some strong looks at the position during the preseason.
Fans may also remember last preseason when no one expected big things from Royce Newman or Yosh Nijman. Both proved to be more than serviceable, and Newman ended up starting 16 out of 17 games.
With or without David Bakhtiari, the offense is going to be fine.
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