Everyone is familiar with the Green Bay Packers’ offensive stars—QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, and WR Davante Adams.
While those three players soak up headlines and get most of the credit for the team’s success, the team will be without one of its unsung heroes for the rest of the season, which may damage their chances to win a Super Bowl.
Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari left Thursday’s practice with a severe knee injury that will cost the four time Pro Bowler and first team all pro player the rest of the season. It could be a crushing blow for the team, as the talented offensive lineman has played an average of 90% of Green Bay’s offense snaps throughout his career—including playing all snaps for the team last season. Reports say that Bakhtiari may have torn in ACL, which if true, might also put his availability for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season in jeopardy.
The 29-year-old Bakhtiari was not highly regarded coming out of University of Colorado, as he slipped to the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, where the Packers ended his slide. He’s been a highly reliable presence for Aaron Rodgers and the offense, and was having a great season before he went down yesterday.
According to Pro Football Focus, Bakhtiari only allowed one sack, and committed just four penalties on the season, which is impressive when you consider that he’s constantly tasked with stopping the most fierce edge rushers in the NFL.
The Packers' potential playoff matchups could vary greatly depending on Sunday’s result, where they have an opportunity to clinch the conference’s number one overall seed on the road against the Chicago Bears. Bakhtiari’s loss might be felt immediately in Week 17, if the Bears decide to send LB’s Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith to the offensive tackle’s vacated position. Even if the Packers are able to secure the top seed, they might have to play the likes of the Saints’ Trey Hendrickson and Cameron Jordan, the Buccaneers’ Jason Pierre Paul, the Seahawks’ Carlos Dunlap, or the Washington Football Team’s Chase Young—all of whom are noted pass rushers who wreak havoc on games.
It will be interesting to see if Green Bay head coach Matt LeFleur decides to throw more quick passes with Rodgers in the coming weeks, or perhaps leave an extra tight end in to block to help secure the edge against pass rushers.Published 02 Jan 2021, 08:22 IST