Pain ‘Not Really an Issue’ for Packers LT David Bakhtiari

What is an issue is David Bakhtiari's ability to put together a winning performance on little or no practice time on Sunday vs. Minnesota.

Rather than answering the questions, injured Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari turned the tables for a moment.

“Do you want to know what percentage I am?” Bakhtiari asked.

“I’m 210 percent,” Bakhtiari said in answering his own question. “Now, what’s my scale, I can’t tell you that.”

Last week, Bakhtiari missed the first game of his three-year NFL career due to an injured ankle. He was in good spirits on Thursday, even though he’s missed both practices this week. That mood stood in contrast to what he was feeling while sidelined for the Arizona game.

“I’ll be honest, it (expletive) sucked,” Bakhtiari said. “I was not doing good. Once game-time came, it really hit me because I knew I had not missed a game. That was really heavy for me to know that it would be better if I didn’t (play). I just couldn’t do it. That sucked. It did a lot.”

Bakhtiari battled through a preseason knee injury and a separate knee injury at midseason and has put together an excellent season. He hasn’t allowed a sack in his past nine games and was penalized just once in his last four games.

After missing Thursday’s padded practice – the big workday of the week – can Bakhtiari play to that standard against Minnesota’s top pass rusher, Everson Griffen, with only Saturday’s brief practice or, perhaps, no practice at all?

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s depending on the injury with the hurdles I’d have to cross with that. The one positive I can take is that it’s so late in the year. I’ve gotten so much playing time and the comfortability level, where as if this was like Week 2 or Week 3, I haven’t played in enough games. But I’ve played in 14 games.”

Offensive line coach James Campen has seen enough of Bakhtiari to believe that he could play and play well on no practice time. Bakhtiari had started all 46 career regular-season games until missing the Arizona game. That includes getting himself ready for the start of this season after missing the final three preseason games. However, this would be new territory for Bakhtiari.

“Until somebody’s done that, I couldn’t say whether he could or couldn’t,” Campen said. “I do know that practice, no matter what year you are experience(-wise), practice is invaluable, especially for a lineman. You’ve got stunts and games and calls and all that to make sure that you’re in-tune with.”

To be sure, even a less-than-full-strength Bakhtiari might be a better alternative than Don Barclay, who started the Arizona game and gave up four sacks, or J.C. Tretter, who might be a consideration in light of Barclay’s poor performance. After all, there’s a lot on the line with the NFC North and a first-round playoff home game up for grabs. However, the Packers do have a postseason berth wrapped up. It could be argued that it would be better for Bakhtiari and the team for him to get another week to heal.

“No,” Bakhtiari said. “If I can play, I’m going to play. There’s no gray area. It’s black and white.”

Bakhtiari said he was “too stupid” to think about the potential of making the injury worse, even though he said his agent, Mark Humenik, “isn’t happy” about Bakhtiari’s desire to give it a go.

“I told him, ‘I’m sorry, that’s just kind of how I am,’” Bakhtiari said.

Pain won’t be an issue, Bakhtiari said. He’s blocked it out all season. He played the next week after missing the final 30 plays vs. Detroit in Week 10 and he returned to the game after missing a snap at Detroit in Week 13.

“Pain is all relative,” he said. “Anyone who plays at this high of a level, everyone who plays football understands the pain you have to deal with. So that’s not really an issue. I’m not going into the game going, ‘Man, I’m going to be hurting.’ I couldn’t care less.”

Bill Huber is publisher of and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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