The long-awaited return of All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari could be arriving on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
According to Bill Huber of SI.com, Bakhtiari is “trending toward playing” when the Green Bay Packers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.
Bakhtiari, who missed all but one game last season and the first two games of this season, practiced in a limited capacity on both Thursday and Friday, setting the stage for his return to the playing field.
It appears a few of his offensive linemen teammates know the news. Check out the shirts on Jon Runyan, Josh Myers and Royce Newman for Saturday’s flight to Florida:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 24, 2022
Per Huber, Bakhtiari needs to get through the long flight to Tampa Bay and pre-game warmups on Sunday before he gets the all-clear to play, but all signs are pointing in the right direction at this point. Also, it’s possible Bakhtiari will only play a part of the game.
Since tearing his ACL and suffering other knee damage at the end of the 2020 season, Bakhtiari has played all of 27 snaps – which came during the season finale against the Detroit Lions last year.
Bakhtiari’s backup at left tackle is Yosh Nijman, who started eight games there in 2021 and two more to start 2022.
If Bakhtiari can play, he’ll get a matchup against Pro Bowler Shaq Barrett, the Buccaneers’ best edge rusher.