The Green Bay Packers knew the risks going into the season with how they constructed their offensive line. If things went in their favor and the unit was able to remain healthy, they would have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. If not, things could get messy in the trenches.
It only took one game for things to get messy. The Packers had their projected starting unit on the field in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears and dominated, leading to a 38-20 victory. But, that was the last time they all played together to this point, and there is a chance it will be a one-and-done deal.
That is because left tackle David Bakhtiari was placed on injured reserve ahead of the Packers’ game against the Detroit Lions in Week 4 on Thursday Night Football. Despite missing Weeks 2 and 3, Bakhtiari will miss at least the next four games after being placed on IR.
That includes the loss to the Lions, as the earliest he would be able to return to the field is Week 9 against the Los Angeles Rams on November 5th. Green Bay has a bye in Week 6, which is why his return would be pushed back.
While the team is certainly hoping that he can return at that point, it is unclear whether he has a legitimate chance to do so. The knee injury that he suffered back on December 31st, 2020 has derailed the All-Pro’s career.
Since that point, Bakhtiari has undergone three surgeries to try and get back on the field. It hasn’t exactly worked, as he has played in only 13 games since in 2+ seasons. Bakhtiari hasn’t practiced in an official capacity since August 30th as the Packers were looking to limit the wear and tear on his body by limiting his reps.
While a good strategy to try, it hasn’t worked. Bakhtiari will miss at least six consecutive games before being eligible to return to the field. In his absence, the Packers have turned to 2022 seventh-round pick Rasheed Walker, who has held his own.
At this point, there is a real possibility that Week 1 against the Bears was the last time we see him in a Packers uniform. Bakhtiari has a cap hit north of $40 million for the 2024 season, an astronomical number that will not be kept on the books. Given the inability to stay on the field, Green Bay will likely cut him, saving $21.5 million in the process.