Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Tonyan, Watson and Crosby. That short list of players contains a lot of offensive horsepower for the Green Bay Packers. If all of these players and Aaron Rodgers are healthy for the first game of the season the Packers would be an easy choice for any pundit to pick to win the NFC North. Sure, there are still questions concerning the Packers Adams-less wide receivers and how much the defense may miss Za’darius Smith, but any smart better would feel most comfortable putting their greenbacks down on the Green and Gold.
With the news that Bakhtiari is joining Jenkins, Watson, Crosby and Tonyan on the PUP, any reasonable Packer fan has to be concerned. Bakhtiari first injured his knee on December 31, 2020. For an injury that usually takes 9-12 months, it is now obvious that the recovery has not gone to plan. Bakhtiari, Jenkins and Tonyan made for an impressive run-pass combination when lined up side by side. After losing Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner, and Dennis Kelly in free agency the health of these three PUP players is the difference between an offensive line with solid all-pros that puts fear into opponents or a line full of rookies and first-time full-time starters with minimal experience. The Bears and Vikings will be chomping at their collective bits to face a front line of Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan, Josh Meyers, Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen or one of the Packers’ late round 2022 draft picks and DeGuara at tight end.
For Watson, a small college receiver who needs to learn the full NFL route tree, the injury needs to heal quickly for him to contribute to the offense. He has a history of missing college games due to both hamstring and knee injuries. Hamstring strain risks can increase if a player has a history of that injury. Watson was late in signing his contract so if there was an injury the Packers should have had knowledge.
The good news concerning the PUP list is that any of these players could be activated any time. And, taking every precaution with All Pro tackles is a prudent course. Until activation occurs, Packer fans will be watching every practice and preseason game watching the new kids on the offensive line block, hoping there are two more All Pros in the currently unproven offensive line roster.
All of this makes LaFleur’s first press conference a must hear event.
While many were fussing and fretting over the WR situation. I said the bigger concern was the health of Bakhtiari. Now you have to wonder, because he’s been gone for so long and now over 30, can he be the player he once was even if he can come back. As long as we get Elgton Jenkins back relatively soon, he can play LT at a very high level. It would certainly be a blow but not the end of the world to lose Bakhtiari. As I recall, Clay Matthews was the poster child for hamstring injuries during camp. He was always good to go by September. Not concerned about Christian Watson’s learning curve. The Packers will start the season with Allan Lazard, Randal Cobb, and Sammy Watkins at WR. Thereby bringing Watson, Doubs, and Toure along at their own pace.
Exactly Tom. Good post. Bak is awesome, but having been a acl victim myself i know that this long of a recovery can mean a lot of things and 90% of them are bad. Jenkins can play LT as good as anyone from what we have seen, though we sure would miss his run blocking. Im not as concerned about WR as others because I see Jones and Dillon each getting at least 50 catches. Thats the same as a starting WR.
Tommi said he had concerns about Bakhtiari’s recovery.
Ummmmm….Probably the same as with tens of thousands of other Packer fans.
You want a cookie Princess?
So a receiving running back is as good as a starting wide receiver?
I guess we should find more receiving running backs…..Fixed
Maybe i should have predicted Jones to be our #1 receiver, like he was in the 49er game.
We don’t need any stinking receivers…no worries, we have running backs.
I too have recovered from ACL and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Why can’t they elaborate at all on what the issue is? Is it a friggin secret?
Are we seeing the end of Bakhtiari?
I usually don’t ask silly questions like that, but man…..when do you get a return for all the cash they laid out to him?
Is he the next high profile Packer player to have a rift with Packer management?
The Packers restructured Bakh’s contract in 2021, without adding void years.
Then restructured him again in 2022 creating 9 million in cap relief this season by adding two void years.
“The restructure reduces Bakhtiari’s cap number in 2022 to $12.9 million but increased his cap hits in future years. His cap number inflates to $28.6 million in 2023 and $32.6 million in 2024, per Over the Cap. The Packers added two void years in 2025 and 2026”
After the 2022 season, tough decisions will have to be made if Bakhtiari doesn’t make it back this season.
He’ll be 32,33 years old in 2023 and 24 with dead caps of 29 and 33 million.
This is the danger of paying out a 3rd contract. But then again, who could know he’s getting injured.
I can’t really blame Packer management on this one, we’ll call it bad timing and bad luck.
But when you push money down the road…..twice, you make your bed i guess.
Good for you Eduardo! That’s a lot of rehab. Now consider if you were an NFL athlete. You make a very good point about Jones and Dillion. Both are excellent at catching the football and are underrated as receivers. Let’s let the WR pecking order work itself out at camp before we condemn it. There’s a lot of young talent there. I’m anxious to see what we have. I’d rather have these guys peaking in December and January than be the talk of the camp in July and hitting the rookie wall in November. As far as Bakhtiari’s injury three weeks after he signed his contract. That’s life in the NFL. Shit happens. He was an impending FA and Gutekunst had to get it done to protect his franchise QB. Excellent LT’s don’t grow on trees. It’s no one’s fault. The NFL is a hard business. You make calculated decisions when you run an NFL team. Some you win and some you lose. Rather than focus on a single move you should focus on the body of Gutekunst’s work. Which has been excellent. But because he’s upset Aaron Rodgers in the past, his legion of fans will have none of it.
Is it just me or is Tommi trying some self improvement techniques?
Good job Sparky….we all thought you gave up.