GREEN BAY, Wis. – A key matchup in Saturday’s NFC playoff game will be Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari vs. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.
On Tuesday, the first day of the practice week, neither player practiced.
Bakhtiari, who made his season debut with 27 snaps against Detroit on Jan. 9, was out for what coach Matt LaFleur termed “load management.” He could potentially practice on Wednesday and/or Thursday.
“He’s coming off a major injury, so you always want to be mindful of the big picture with a guy of his caliber,” LaFleur said before practice. “We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow and follow him throughout the course of the week.”
Bosa, who was fourth in the NFL with 15.5 sacks this season, missed the second half of the 49ers’ wild-card victory at Dallas with a concussion. His snaps were somewhat evenly distributed between the left and right sides this season.
“I didn’t personally get a chance to talk to him,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. “I talked to a number of guys who did and our trainers. We're pretty optimistic with it. I've seen that a few times. And he seems like he's in a pretty good spot right now but not going to be the one to judge that.”
Other than Bakhtiari, every member of the Packers’ 53-man roster and some key players on injured reserve practiced. Breaking that long list into groups:
Out vs. Detroit: Inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (elbow), running back Aaron Jones (knee) and right tackle Billy Turner (knee) were full participation, and cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) was limited. All four players are trending toward playing.
Dropped out of Detroit game with injuries: Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was limited and cornerback Chandon Sullivan (knee) wasn’t even on the report. A source last week said he expected both players to be full-go for the game.
Injured reserve: Randall Cobb (core), outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (back) and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (bicep) practiced again. Cobb certainly will play and Smith and Mercilus are trending that way.
“He is just a pro’s pro,” LaFleur said of Mercilus, a midseason addition who provided a lift to the pass rush before he suffered a torn bicep. “The approach he’s taken since the moment we met him, the moment he’s gotten here is not a secret to why he’s lasted and played at such a high level in this league. Everything he does is with the right mindset of how do I get better? He would be a guy that we’d be ecstatic to get back out there on the grass on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters before Tuesday evening's practice that he intends to play despite a sprained throwing shoulder sustained during the second quarter at Dallas. Linebacker Fred Warner (ankle) proclaimed himself good to go, as well.
"Being a quarterback, it affects every throw," Garoppolo said. "It definitely had some impact, but if I'm out there, and I'm being put in that spot, I've got to still make the plays that I normally make. No excuses or anything like that. We're all dealing with stuff now."
Packers Injury Report
DNP: LT David Bakhtiari (knee).
Limited: CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back).
Full: ILB De’Vondre Campbell (elbow), RB Aaron Jones (knee), QB Aaron Rodgers (toe), RT Billy Turner (knee).
49ers Injury Report
DNP: DE Nick Bosa (concussion), DT Jordan Willis (ankle).
Limited: LB Azeez Al-Shaair (knee), QB Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb, shoulder), LB Dre Greenlaw (groin), LB Marcell Harris (Achilles), S Talanoa Hufanga (knee), RB Elijah Mitchell (knee), CB Ambry Thomas (knee) LB Fred Warner (ankle).