The Packers lost a key member of their offensive line in Sunday's shootout loss to the Vikings, with Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins suffering a season-ending ACL tear. But there's optimism surrounding the return of David Bakhtiari, for whom Jenkins had been filling in at left tackle, after the former recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. That's according to NFL Media, which reported Tuesday that Bakhtiari is "feeling much better" after the operation and is expected to return to the field after Green Bay's Week 13 bye.
Bakhtiari, a five-time All-Pro who landed a $105 million extension last November, has yet to play this season. He suffered a torn ACL late in the 2020 campaign and underwent reconstructive knee surgery in January, opening 2021 on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. The Packers activated Bakhtiari from PUP on Nov. 10, ahead of their Week 10 matchup with the Seahawks, but he's only practiced once since then. He'll remain sidelined from practice this week, per NFL Media's Tom Pelissero, and sit out Sunday's Week 12 showdown with the Rams, but he'll then have an extra week to rehab before the Packers' next game.
With Jenkins, who shifted from guard to protect Aaron Rodgers' blind side, now out for the rest of the season, Bakhtiari has become even more valuable to Green Bay's front. Until his official return to the lineup, the Packers are expected to lean on third-year reserve Yosh Nijman, a former undrafted product of Virginia Tech, at left tackle.