It seems as though Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have a little more protection around him Sunday when they host the New England Patriots.
Two-time All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, who played in just one game last season after tearing his ACL in 2020, returned to practice Friday after sitting out practice the day prior, according to Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com. Bakhtiari did not show up on the Packers injury report, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and Hodkiewicz reported he is expected to play.
How much Bakhtiari plays is another story, but him not even being a limited participant in Friday’s practice is a good sign for Green Bay. The Packers have been cautious with Bakhtiari as he works his way back from the significant knee injury. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder made his season debut in Week 3, but only played 35 snaps in a 14-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Bakhtiari, who celebrated his 31st birthday Friday, gets an increased workload against the Patriots. The Packers have allowed Rodgers to be sacked eight times through three games, which is the 11th-most in the NFL.
It wasn’t all good news on the injury front for the Packers as cornerback Jaire Alexander was a limited participant in practice Friday and is listed questionable for the contest due to a groin injury, per Hodkiewicz. The Patriots have their share of injury issues as well, including starting quarterback Mac Jones being ruled out for the game.
The Patriots and Packers will kick off from Lambeau Field on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.