GREEN BAY, Wis. (NWN) — Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur says he knows 2020 All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari will make his 2021 debut in Kansas City on Sunday.
He doesn’t plan to announce just whether the 2020 All-Pro Chiefs will be available in an effort to prepare them for either scenario.
Bakhtiari hasn’t played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on December 31.
He began the season being physically unable to perform on the list, Meaning he had to sit out the first six games. Bakhtiari has been practicing with the team recently, but the Packers (7-1) have not activated him yet.
“David is doing everything he can, and we just have to make sure the timing is right and take it day by day,” LaFleur said on Monday. “And when he’s ready to go we think, everybody feels confident about it, then he’ll be back there.”
Bakhtiari, 30, was an All-Pro selection in 2018 and 2020.
Last season, Pro Bowl left guard Elgaton Jenkins was filling in for Bakhtiyar on a left tackle. Josh Nijman started with a left tackle for three games that Jenkins missed with an ankle injury.
While LaFleur isn’t saying when Bakhtiari might play again, the coach was more forthcoming on the potential return of 2020 Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry, both of whom won the Packers’ 24-21 win in Arizona on Thursday. Missed.
Adams was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Barry tested positive last week. LaFleur said the Packers anticipate Barry’s return on Thursday and indicated that Adams was on a similar timeline.
“But we’ll see where we are, you know,” LaFleur said.
Wide receiver Marquez Valdés-Scantling practiced on Monday, hoping to make a comeback after missing four games with a hamstring injury.
“Of course any time you’re dealing with that type of injury, you never want to put a guy out too early, because then it basically doubles the time you get a guy back. Let’s get it,” Lafleur said. “But he has done everything in his power to try and get back as quickly as possible.”
Outside linebacker Zadarius was back with the team on Monday but was not actually practicing. Smith has not played since the first match of the season due to a back injury. LaFleur said Smith’s situation was “more of a week-to-week case” and added that the 2020 Pro Bowl pass rusher “has not really been fully rehabbed with our guys yet.”
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