Packers holding out LT David Bakhtiari during offseason workout program
Bakhtiari, who worked with the recovery group during the first session of OTAs, won’t be on the field again this week.
According to coach Matt LaFleur, the team had planned for Bakhtiari to miss the offseason workout program.
“Our plan all along was to hold him from this time of the year and make sure he’s continuing to get stronger and ready to go hopefully for training camp,” LaFleur said Tuesday. “...This is part of our process right now.”
Bakhtiari tore his ACL during a practice on Dec. 31, 2020. He missed all but one game in 2021 while dealing with numerous setbacks, including swelling and a surgery to drain fluid from the knee.
Bakhtiari is a five-time All-Pro. When asked if he is close to recovering, LaFleur mentioned Bakhtiari returning to play in Week 18 last season but didn’t offer any specifics on the current timeline.
The Packers obviously want Bakhtiari ready to go for Week 1.
“We just thought, yeah, this is a guy that has played a lot of ball, and it’s best to, you know, hold him from this portion of it,” LaFleur said.
The vibe around Bakhtiari’s return to the field has been nothing if not concerning. LaFleur hasn’t appeared comfortable answering questions on his status or willing to go into detail on the recovery process.
Bakhtiari is now almost 18 months post-injury. He’ll be over 20 months into recovery come the start of training camp in late July. The team is clearly playing it safe during a time of year that doesn’t really matter for a veteran player like Bakhtiari.
The Packers have to be hoping that his knee injury doesn’t affect his playing status for the 2022 season, but Bakhtiari’s status will likely be one of the team’s top storylines entering training camp.