The long-awaited return of All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is finally arriving.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Bakhtiari is expected to make his season debut when the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions in the season finale on Sunday at Ford Field.
Bakhtiari has missed the Packers’ last 19 games dating back to last season and including the postseason. He tore his ACL during practice on Dec. 31 of 2020 and has been working his way back ever since, missing all 16 games this season while fighting through several setbacks.
This week, Bakhtiari practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday, conditioned on Thursday and was a full participant on Friday. He was listed as questionable to play, setting the stage for his return.
Bakhtiari, a five-time All-Pro, will take over at left tackle for Yosh Nijman, who made eight starts at the position this season.
The snaps figure to be important ones for Bakhtiari, especially with the postseason on the horizon. He needs to be sharp and at or near the top of his game as the Packers attempt to run the gauntlet in the NFC and make the Super Bowl as the No. 1 seed. Getting on the field on Sunday in Detroit could help shake off some rust and get him truly game-ready for the playoffs.
Bakhtiari last played in a game on Dec. 27, 2020, against the Tennessee Titans.
The final hurdle for Bakhtiari is being active on Sunday. The team will announce inactive players 90 minutes before kickoff.
The Packers and Lions kick off at Ford Field at noon on Sunday.
Packers activate C Josh Myers, elevate 2 defenders from practice squad
Packers Wire staff predictions: Week 18 vs. Detroit Lions
Packers vs. Lions: How to watch, stream or listen to season finale
Analyzing Packers’ final injury report for Week 18 vs. Lions