Green Bay Packers All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is out for the season, further cementing this season as a transitionary year for a team playing its first post-Aaron Rodgers season.
Bakhtiari told reporters Friday that he needs to undergo another surgery on his knee, which will end his season, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein. Bakhtiari reportedly said his doctors are confident he has a cartilage issue, and he hopes to be ready for training camp next year.
The surgery will end Bakhtiari’s 2023 season after one game played in Week 1. The Packers placed the 32-year-old on injured reserve last week due to a knee issue. Bakhtiari reportedly described the problem as an issue with his femoral condyles that provide cushion for the knee and insisted it had nothing to do with the torn ACL that caused him to miss most of the 2021 season.
Bakhtiari is a five-time All-Pro, having made the first team in 2018 and 2020. Pro Football Focus ranked him the 11th-best offensive tackle in the NFL last season.
While Bakhtiari has been a cornerstone for the Packers for the past decade or so, news of his surgery further complicates what had already been a questionable future with the team. After restructuring his contract in May, Bakhtiari is set to enter the 2024 season with a $40.6 million salary-cap hit, per Over The Cap. The Packers can save $20.5 million by cutting him and eating $19.1 million in dead money.
Bakhtiari seems well aware of the situation, from what he told reporters:
“They have decisions they need to make for the best of the franchise. I understood that the moment I got in here. Obviously, every face goes. This face is going to go, too. I can’t live here … Whatever it’s got to be, I’m not ignoring those signs. Do they suck? Yeah. I would love to play here until I decide I’m done.”
With Bakhtiari out for the rest of the season, sophomore Rasheed Walker appears set to hold down the left tackle position.