Over the last few weeks and months, every answer from the Green Bay Packers about David Bakhtiari’s status for training camp has been a mix of ominous, hopeful and uncertain.
Coach Matt LaFleur added another one to the pile on Tuesday. Asked if Bakhtiari will be ready for training camp, LaFleur sounded cautiously optimistic but also non-committal.
“Time will tell,” LaFleur said. “We fully anticipate him being ready to go, but, you know, we did last year as well. I think time will tell. We feel good about the work he’s put in and where he’s at.”
Bakhtiari tore his ACL on Dec. 31, 2020, and missed all but one game last season. The five-time All-Pro dealt with complications and a clean-up surgery during recovery, and even though he returned for Week 18, he was unable to play in the Packers’ playoff loss to the 49ers.
By design, LaFleur and the Packers have held Bakhtiari out of the offseason workout program. He’s participated off to the side with the rehab group, which includes offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins.
LaFleur said all the rehabbing players are moving in the right direction but didn’t go into any specifics.
“They are all making progress, but we’ll have a better idea as we get closer to training camp. Those are important players for us,” LaFleur said. “They are doing well while they’ve been here.”
The lack of certainty from the Packers on Bakhtiari’s status for training camp has to be concerning, especially considering the start of camp will be roughly 20 months post-injury, but it’s possible the team is sticking with cautious optimism after Bakhtiari went through so many ups and downs last year.
LaFleur said training camp practices will begin July 27. Veterans report on July 26. Bakhtiari’s availability for the start of camp might be the biggest pre-camp storyline.