Almost one year ago, David Bakhtiari suffered a torn ACL in practice. The injury kept him out of the Packers’ playoff run last season. Additionally, it has kept him from seeing the field yet this season. With the Packers preparing for their final regular season game against the Lions, it has been reported that the starters will play. Furthermore, it appears as if David Bakhtiari, as well as other injured players, may make their return in Week 18.
What Matt LaFleur Said About David Bakhtiari
All season long, fans have wondered when David Bakhtiari would be back. According to reports, Bakhtiari needed to have some cleanup work done on his knee. It would swell up whenever he practiced, which lengthened his recovery time.
According to Matt LaFleur, however, Bakhtiari could be back in Week 18. However, it depends on how the rest of this week goes.
If Bakhtiari is able to return this Sunday, it would be very helpful in terms of preparing for the playoffs. Ideally, David Bakhtiari and the other players returning from injuries would get at least one game in before the playoffs. Since the Packers clinched the first round bye, the team will have two weeks off before they play again. This is also why Coach LaFleur opted to plays starters in Week 18 instead of resting them. If they were to not play, they would essentially have gone three weeks without playing.
Other Packers Players That Could Return
David Bakhtiari is far from the only Packers player who has missed significant time this season due to injury. Jaire Alexander has been out since Week Four with a severe shoulder injury. The Packers activated Alexander from IR, but he was placed on the Reserve/COVID List prior to last week’s game against the Vikings. According to LaFleur, Alexander had been practicing with the offensive scout team due to the shortage of healthy wide receivers.
The Green Bay Packers have been rather silent on Za’Darius Smith, who has missed the last 15 games with a back injury. Smith, however, hinted that he may be close to returning as well. In his absence, Rashan Gary and Preston Smith have been as dynamic a pass-rushing duo as any in the NFL. Gary is among the league leaders in quarterback pressures and leads the team in sacks. Smith is close behind with nine sacks this season, the second highest single-season total of his career. In 2019, his first season with the Packers, Preston Smith had 12 sacks.
Finally, another major player who could return in Week 18 versus the Lions is center Josh Myers. The rookie center suffered a knee injury that required surgery. However, he has returned to practice this week and could play against the Lions if he does not suffer any setbacks.