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Packers Bakhtiari practices for first time

Green Bay Packers' David Bakhtiari during the Green Bay Packers' preseason NFL football game...
Green Bay Packers' David Bakhtiari during the Green Bay Packers' preseason NFL football game against the Houston Texans Saturday, Aug.14,2021 in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)(Jeffrey Phelps | AP)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There hasn’t been much good news on the injury front for the Packers this year. That’s with some big names like cornerback Jaire Alexander or pass rusher Za’Darius Smith missing significant time.

On Wednesday, the Pack got back one of their biggest contributors on the offensive line. That’s with left tackle David Bakhtiari returning to practice, and along with that comes his big personality.

“He thinks of himself as the class clown, as the joker of the entire team. He is a very funny individual. From a personality standpoint he adds so much to this squad,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

In all seriousness Bakhtiari has been around the team as he worked his way back from a torn ACL last December. The personality has always been around, but the performance on the field certainly has been missed. With the All-Pro protector of Rodgers’ blindside out the Packers offensive line has given up 14 sacks in the first six weeks. That’s compared to just 20 a year ago.

The makeshift offensive line, that has also included losing Bakhtiari’s replacement Elgton Jenkins for a good amount of time, has held up pretty good for the most part against some good pass rushers. Still there’s something that gets added to the line with Bakhtiari closer to a return to game action.

“It’s good having him back. He’s a stud. He’s a future hall of famer. He has a different focus, I think, when it comes to him being on the field. A different comfort for myself and really I think everybody else,” said Rodgers.

“I mean those guys have been doing a great job so far holding it down in his absence, but obviously we know the whole left side is taken control of. It will be huge having him back leadership-wise and obviously what he does on the field as well,” said wide receiver Davante Adams.

“He prepares the right way every day. He has a great message for our guys. I think he leads in that room. He’s a great talent, so I think it definitely gives everybody a shot in the arm,” said head coach Matt LaFleur.

Bakhtiari was not listed on the Packers injury report Wednesday because he’s still officially on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP), and a return to game action is still a little bit further down the road. Still, getting Bakhtiari back will be a huge addition to help free up Jenkins with center Josh Myers missing practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury of his own.

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