Bakhtiari is Bak: The Packers LT makes 2022 debut in a limited role
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -The Packers learned not to rush the progress with one of their best offensive players, their All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari.
It’s been all about patience.
Bak made his 2022 debut against the Buccaneers on Sunday, but the team took a different approach than they did back in January when he played in Detroit and reaggravated his knee injury.
Matt LaFleur implementing a rotation at left tackle: one series for Bakhtiari, one series for Yosh Nijman.
“Full disclosure, we weren’t the biggest fans of it but give credit where credit is due,” Bakhtiari said after the game. “Coach stuck to his guns, he called it. We looked at each other and said hey we’re going to make the most of this. I think it was positive on both of us. I’m pumped full of adrenaline right now. There’s a lot of awesome things coming on my end but you can’t not talk abut me being out there today without Yosh.”
“I mean I didn’t really notice anything, I thought it was an interesting idea. It obviously worked out. Dave looked like he felt good,” Aaron Rodgers said.
“Just to try to keep him available for the whole game. We didn’t want to go zero to 60 with him in regards to a guy who hasn’t played a whole lot outside of that Detroit game, hasn’t played in almost two years,” LaFleur said.
Bakhtiari tore his ACL in practice on Dec. 31st, 2020 and only played 27 snaps last season.
So, this was his big return after multiple knee surgeries the past year and a half. In Tampa he played 34 snaps in six possessions.
“Mental, physically completely different,” Bakhtiari said. “I know I said, once I step between the white lines, it doesn’t matter your injuries, same it was today. Looking back, that was yeah I knew what I was going out there with. I wasn’t going to disclose that to anyone for gamesmanship reasons. Night and day difference between this opportunity and that opportunity.”
After Rodgers was sacked seven times in the Packers first two games, he was only taken down once on Sunday.
“The protection was great. I only got hit 3 or 4 times and one sack. That’s a dream type of day, especially against that front on the road. Great job by the guys up front and hopefully Dave is feeling better and can play more next week,” Rodgers said.
“Three surgeries, a lot of questions on it. The ability to answer those questions for myself, that’s the most important thing,” Bak said. “To quiet everything else around. I’ve always enjoyed the left tackle position, specifically with myself, the less conversation we have around me, usually means you’re doing a good job. We’ll see where I am physically. It’s a very long season. I’m pleased with where we are. Today, not that it’s the best evaluation on health, but I think if I feel good coming out, that’s the best we could do. We’ll see how the week compiles and we’ll take it, as coach says, one game at a time and go 1-0 next week”
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