David Bakhtiari Gets Updated Return Timeline From Knee Injury

Former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari is hoping to make it back onto the field for 2024, and he got an optimistic update with plenty of time ahead of league-wide training camps.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport shared an update on Bakhtiari on May 21. According to Dr. Brian Cole, Bakhtiari is recovering well from multiple knee surgeries. The follow-up exam with the star left tackle determined that he’s on schedule to return for the 2024 season.

Former #Packers All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari, who is recovering from knee surgeries, had a positive follow-up exam with expert Dr. Brian Cole, and Cole proclaimed him on schedule for a 2024 season return.

Cole is the chairman of Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center in… pic.twitter.com/7GtC0pOzSy

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 21, 2024

Bakhtiari played in just one game this past season. He started in the season opener against the Chicago Bears before being shut down again for the rest of the season.

Now, the veteran left tackle is hopeful that he can get back on the field in a full-time capacity for the 2024 season.

How Injuries Derailed David Bakhtiari’s Career

There was a point where Bakhtiari was considered the best left tackle in the NFL. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case due to ongoing issues with injuries.

Bakhtiari was at the peak of his powers in 2020. Along with five All-Pro selections, he was a three-time Pro Bowler protecting the blind side for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers were gearing up for a Super Bowl run during that 2020 season, but disaster struck.

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In December of 2020, Bakhtiari suffered a torn ACL. He ended up missing a crucial playoff run, but the expectation was that he’d eventually return in 2021. However, he only played in one game that season, missing another playoff run before having another surgery in the 2022 offseason.

Ongoing issues kept Bakhtiari on and off the field in 2022. He played in just 12 games, but part of that was due to an emergency appendectomy that forced him to miss multiple games.

Even then, Bakhtiari had to take drives off in 2022. Knee issues have been a lingering issue dating back to the original injury. Over the last three seasons, he has played in just 13 games.

None of this is Bakhtiari’s fault. However, unless the most recent knee surgeries can get him back on the field on a full-time basis, NFL teams may not be as eager to sign him as he might think.

Who Will Play Left Tackle in 2024 for the Packers?

The Packers have found ways to keep quarterbacks upright in Bakhtiari’s absence. Now, there’s a question about who the next long-term left tackle will be in Green Bay.

Rasheed Walker is the incumbent favorite to hold down the left tackle spot. A former seventh-round pick in 2022, Walker took over the spot for Bakhtiari this past season. While he took his lumps throughout the year, he also found his footing late in the season, especially in the playoffs.

That being said, Jordan Morgan could still contend for the left tackle opening. The Packers liked him enough to take him in the first round of this year’s draft. He’s a bit undersized at 6’5″ and 311 pounds, but has the athletic ability to play either tackle or guard.

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The good news is that both options are solid ones for the Packers. Either way, the priority for the Packers will be to get the best five starting offensive linemen on the field in any order to keep Jordan Love upright.

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