When David Bakhtiari saw Aaron Rodgers’ pass hit tight end Richard Rodgers’ hands 65 yards downfield, adrenaline took over.
The Green Bay Packers left tackle, who barely walked off the field earlier during Thursday night’s game, forgot about the pain in his right knee. Delirious, he started running around, hugging anyone he could reach.
Still, Bakhtiari said in the locker room later, his right knee is less than 100 percent.
“It’s banged up,” Bakhtiari said. “I’ll know better when I get looked at. But, I mean, I knew we needed me, because we don’t have a lot more guys to get on the field. I just had to get it taped up, readjusted, and get it right.”
Bakhtiari was one of two starting offensive linemen to finish Thursday’s game, along with left guard Josh Sitton. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and right guard T.J. Lang (shoulder) were unable to play Thursday, and backups Don Barclay and Lane Taylor replaced them against the Detroit Lions. Center Corey Linsley was also knocked from the game because of an ankle injury, and backup JC Tretter replaced him.
With the offensive line thinned by injuries, Bakhtiari was determined to return to the field. Packers coach Mike McCarthy appreciated his left tackle’s toughness. McCarthy said
“He’s beat up,” McCarthy said. “They’re all beat up.”
McCarthy said he met with Bakhtiari earlier Friday, and his left tackle told him he planned to practice every day next week. It will help that the Packers will have the entire weekend off, and won’t practice until Wednesday.
It’s unclear how much Bulaga, Lang and Linsley will practice next week.
McCarthy said the Packers’ recent schedule has been grueling for the offensive linemen. They’ve played four straight divisional games, all since Nov. 15. Their past two road games – at Minnesota and Detroit – were played on turf.
“That’s something that’s been really hard,” McCarthy said, “particularly on the big guys with their joints.”
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