GREEN BAY – Even after missing most of the season’s opening month, left tackle David Bakhtiari likely had the most legitimate gripe regarding the Pro Bowl's snubbing of the Green Bay Packers.
When healthy, Bakhtiari might have been the Packers' best player this season, considering quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed seven games. In 2016, Bakhtiari was voted to the Pro Bowl, as well as being a second-team All-Pro selection. He said he felt this season was just as successful individually, despite not having the recognition.
“I’m not going to say I’m happy about it,” Bakhtiari said, “but it is what it is. I guess the question that comes to mind is, what are they seeing, really? What are peoples’ motives when it comes to voting? At the end of the day, the only people I truly care about is what my quarterback thinks, and what the guys on the third floor think.”
Bakhtiari’s absence early this season is the best explanation for why he wasn’t voted to the Pro Bowl. His missed four games with a groin injury and had to exit the second half of a fifth game (in Minnesota) when it tightened up. But injuries are part of playing the offensive line, and that’s no different with the three tackles who were selected to the NFC team.
Dallas’ Tyron Smith (two games), Washington’s Trent Williams (four) and Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson (one) each missed time this season. Smith might be the most talented left tackle in football, but Bakhtiari can at least hold his own with Williams and Johnson.
It opens up the possibility for Bakhtiari to be selected to an All-Pro team this season, if not the Pro Bowl.
“I think it’d be pretty funny,” Bakhtiari said, “if I was a one-time Pro Bowler, but a two-time All-Pro.”