If you think you’re frustrated, try being David Bakhtiari.
Let’s start by rolling the clocks back about two years. On November 15, 2020, it was announced that Green Bay Packers He agreed to a $105.5 million four-year extension with the All-Pro left tackle. Packers fans rejoiced that the cornerstone up front won’t be entering free agency and will be in Green Bay for years to come.
Then all hell broke out after only a month and a half.
While Al Hazzoon were preparing for the regular season finals against Chicago BearsBakhtiari tore his anterior cruciate ligament during training. That was on December 31, 2020.
Since then, Bakhtiari has only seen the field once, and for all intents and purposes he had a great appearance in a no-nonsense season finale in Detroit this past January.
We all knew that due to the timing of the ACL rupture, participating in any significant part of the 2021 season was unsuitable at best for my choice. ACL recovery operations are as unique as fingerprints, as no two tears are the same and there are also other ligaments that may have been damaged.
After Bakhtiari left the match against Detroit, no one thought about it much. The match was insignificant in terms of the season’s standings. Maybe the Packers kept him at the expense of the field to keep him in the next playoff?
That was a plausible theory until Green Bay made him inactive in the division round against San Francisco 49ers. It was the first sign something was wrong, although at the time he was supposed to be ready through training camp and back to normal in the first week.
You know what they say about Assumption? I have checked in this case.
After the Packers maintained their optimism throughout the season that Bakhtiari would be ready in July for training camp, he was placed in Physically unable to perform List (PUP) to start camp and you haven’t even been able to start training until Removed from the PUP party list on August 21.
so what happened? Since the end of the 2021 season, reports have emerged that Bakhtiari has suffered numerous setbacks, including several other (plural) procedures on the knee: one to reduce swelling and an unknown third that was supposed to clear it up.
When the team assembled for the training camp, general manager Brian Gutkunst revealed that Bakhtiari had struggled.Much more than the ACL way back when it happened. Gutekunst also noted that after Bakhtiari was not happy with how his knee was responding in Detroit, he went ahead with another procedure, which put his comeback schedule into question.
This is where the story gets sticky and possibly ugly. Since dropping out of the PUP programme, Bakhtiari has trained sporadically over the past month. With the regular season approaching, expectations are growing for Bakhtiari’s return for the first week.
This did not happen. It seemed inevitable that he would miss the match after missing Friday’s training and that was indeed the case.
So maybe he’ll be ready for week two against the Chicago Bears?
After the loss to the Vikings, coach Matt Lafleur Bakhtiari said: He won’t train for three days in a row And it will be on a one-time and one-time schedule. That will be the case, LaFleur said, “even when he’s fully back.” This points to a red flag because Bakhtiari wasn’t really quite ready to go.
Of course, the Packers came out and won in Week 2 against the Bears, a game that marked the remarkable comeback of Elgton Jenkins. The right intervention made a comeback on Sunday after recovering from the ruptured ACL he suffered in November last year. This was a 10-month schedule, much shorter than Bakhtiari’s, and it should be noted that Jenkins went the distance on Sunday night.
This raises concern about Bakhtiari even more, but it was Lafleur’s comments after the win over the Bears that unleashed sort of a small firestorm around the left-handed tackle.
LaFleur was rattled about Jenkins’ return to the squad, and said he believed the Al Hazm players “wouldn’t have won this match” without him. Some have interpreted this comment as a challenge to Bakhtiari, but it is also possible that he meant this due to the heavy nature of the game plan.
Adding to the intrigue (and more amazement) was quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Bakhtiari’s best friend on the team, who yesterday echoed Lafleur’s words to Jenkins during his weekly stint on The Pat McAfee Show. Rodgers went a little further.
Speaking of Jenkins’ return from injury, Rodgers cited the mental hurdle that must be cleared, especially for a pose that sinks his feet and puts a lot of stress on the legs. “Pass the barrier and go down there,” he said, “that’s the mindset of a warrior.” “And I need the appearance of the warriors.”
People can interpret things however they like, but it’s fair to assume that this was directed at Bakhtiari, especially when McAfee triggered the left-hand intervention immediately after Rodgers finished the quote above and the quarterback didn’t back down.
Today, LaFleur frankly stated, “I have no idea,” when asked how much Bakhtiari is against pirate After he missed Wednesday’s training. This was an out-of-schedule error of what the coach had said just one week ago.
Patience is running out now, especially among the fan base. With the assertiveness continuing to move the goalposts, fans are left in awe when they finally see their beloved left-footed tackle on the field with more than just a practice ability.
To be fair, no one can and should not judge the mental hurdles of professional athletes returning from injury. Bakhtiari’s recovery has been particularly difficult, with many procedures and setbacks. Fan pressure and media attention may have its effect.
The contract he signed right before his injury is also a source of pressure. Sure, he’s still getting paid, but he’s also shouldering the burden of the expectations the organization had of him when he signed that deal and they still keep it. These are not easy obstacles for anyone to overcome, even for a seasoned and highly successful professional athlete.
However, soccer is still a business, and it’s not always a fun business. Bakhtiari’s contract makes full lay-off impossible, and The team actually reworked their deal once this spring to free up some space. If this saga continues to unfold, the Packers will face a difficult decision, considering they haven’t gotten a return on investment in this very expensive extension.
Perhaps Bakhtiari will return and return to the elite level, writing a comeback story through the ages. This is the ending everyone wants regardless of how you feel about the current situation.
Or maybe things are still the same and not getting better enough. This is the worst case scenario but responsible franchises should plan for it. The two packages will have to do this as well.
A maximum of $29 million in 2023 and $33 million in 2024 each on the lidThe Packers will have to do something if Bakhtiari continues to waste time. It doesn’t make sense from a financial point of view to let things continue. This could be as simple as asking Bakhtiari to cut his salary or it could mean a complete restructuring or even outright liberation, but this would be the biggest doomsday scenario of them all.
Bakhtiari could also, of course, retire, but that doesn’t seem to be on the table at all, and probably shouldn’t be. All signs are that it’s about to play, but there are a few other milestones to reach before it’s ready to take off. Whether these obstacles are mental, physical, or both are known only to Bakhtiari and Razim.
All this will work soon enough. Until then, let’s stop for a bit about telling professional athletes how to handle their bodies, but we can do so while also understanding that firmness is in trouble and they have a right to be ants while settling this.
Ultimately, the most important thing in this situation is Bakhtiari’s well-being – both physical and mental.
Hopefully Bach will be back soon. But time passes.