Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari expects to be ready to play against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
REMARK: Bakhtiari responded to a tweet from Demovsky, suggesting he may not be sure of his availability for Sunday.
Bakhtiari, a five-time All-Pro who tried to come back after a third knee surgery, was taken off the PUP list on August 21. He finally returned to team practice in practice on Monday, per coach Matt LaFleur, providing the next big step in his long road back to the playing field.
If he could play in the opener on Sunday, Bakhtiari’s return would immediately cement the left tackle position and the rest of the Packers offensive line going into the 2022 season.
It would also be a huge milestone for Bakhtiari.
After tearing his ACL and sustaining other damage on December 31, 2020, Bakhtiari struggled through a nightmarish rehabilitation process, playing in just one game last season. He needed a second cleanup during the 2021 season and then a third surgery for the off-season training program this spring.
Despite returning in the season finale to play parts of two quarters in Detroit, Bakhtiari was inactive before the Packers’ playoff loss to the 49ers.
Elgton Jenkins’ status for Sunday is less certain. He is also coming back from a torn ACL. When ready, he is expected to start with the right tackle and form a potentially elite tackle duo with Bakhtiari.