Packers' David Bakhtiari on allegations he avoided playing on turf: 'I clearly have an injury'

Longtime Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari doesn't like artificial grass in the NFL, but he wants people to know he wouldn't go as far as avoiding playing on it.

The 31-year-old opened his 11th professional season with a start in the team's win over the Chicago Bears, who play on natural grass.

A day later, former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sustained a season-ending Achilles tear on turf in the first quarter of his "Monday Night Football" debut with the New York Jets.

Rodgers' injury prompted Bakhtiari to speak out against the the continued use of turf before he landed on the Packers' inactive list in Week 2. Some eyebrows were raised at his absence as Bakhtiari missed a game against the Atlanta Falcons, who play on turf.

"If I wasn't going to play on turf I'd probably make more of a ruckus," Bakhtiari told reporters Wednesday.

The idea seemed to gain steam from a social media post Bakhtiari's brother, Eric, shared that some took to mean the league "messed around and found out" that artificial grass would cause some athletes not to play.

"My brother loves drama and he told me he was going to do it. I'm like 'go ahead, I don't give a s***. I don't care what you do, it's your social media," Bakhtiari said Wednesday. "No, that was not the reason at all."

"I clearly have an injury that I'm dealing with," he added, before stopping to point out media members in the locker room who may or may not have implied otherwise.

"Anyone that did run with the story should definitely make sure to right wrongs. If you don't, then is that really journalism? If it's only just a hot topic or the lowest hanging fruit," he said.

Head coach Matt LaFleur took a similar fiery tone when speaking to reporters about Bakhtiari's status earlier Wednesday.

"His knee is injured. There was swelling," LaFleur said. "That's it. Just to clarify, I'm done talking about it. "I'm not talking about it," he interrupted a reporter's follow-up to add.

The current swelling is likely a continued hurdle in Bakhtiari's recovery from a torn ACL and subsequent knee reconstruction. He sustained the initially injury on New Year's Eve in 2020, and had arthroscopic surgery in November 2021.

After a total off three surgeries and almost three years, it's understandable he and LaFleur would be tired of talking about the injury.

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