GREEN BAY — David Bakhtiari pondered the idea. Then, the Green Bay Packers veteran left tackle smiled.
Having been picked for the NFL’s All-Pro team each of the past two years — as a first-teamer in 2016 and a second-teamer in 2017 — but never having been voted to the Pro Bowl, Bakhtiari was asked if he might be secretly hoping he’d get snubbed yet again so he could get his third All-Pro selection after the season while stunningly never getting picked for the NFL’s popularity-contest all-star game.
“It’d be nice (to be picked for the Pro Bowl). It’s always nice having those accolades,” Bakhtiari finally admitted during a conversation last week in advance of the NFL’s Pro Bowl rosters being announced Tuesday night. “But for me, there’s really only one accolade I really want — and that’s a Super Bowl. Those other ones, if they come, I’m appreciative. Being a first-team All-Pro and first-ballot Pro Bowler would be kind of cool, I guess. Technically, I don’t have that.”
And he still doesn’t.
Two Packers were picked for the Pro Bowl Tuesday night: wide receiver Davante Adams, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Bakhtiari was not. He was among the Packers’ three alternates, along with center Corey Linsley and defensive tackle Kenny Clark. It was unclear Tuesday night if Bakhtiari was a first-alternate and the next-man-up to be selected for the game if one of the NFC’s other tackles — Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, Terron Armstead of the New Orleans Saints or Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins — drops out.
Bakhtiari did go to the Pro Bowl after the 2016 season, as an injury replacement. Last year, he wasn’t a first alternate, and when he did get the call to replace Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson, Bakhtiari said he turned the opportunity down.
“As I said my rookie year, ‘As long as my quarterback is happy, my O-line coach, my head coach, the guys upstairs on the third floor, as long as they like what I’m doing, then I’m pretty happy,’” Bakhtiari said. “That’s all I care about.”
Adams was a no-doubter. He enters Sunday’s game at the New York Jets having caught 100 passes for 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns. The NFC’s other receivers are Atlanta’s Julio Jones and New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, who are the designated starters, and Minnesota’s Adam Thielen. It’s the first time Adams has been voted to the Pro Bowl after playing in the game last year as a replacement.
Rodgers, meanwhile, was chosen for his seventh Pro Bowl in 11 seasons as the starter. Since 2011, when he was picked for the second time, the only years he wasn’t selected were 2013 and 2017, when his seasons were truncated by collarbone injuries. New Orleans’ Drew Brees was chosen as the starter, and the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff also was picked.
“Last year was obviously a tough year with the injury. This year, with a lot of promise early on, it’s definitely disappointing,” Rodgers said after the Chicago Bears eliminated the Packers from playoff contention last Sunday. “The expectation is to compete for championships. ... I like our chances in the division moving forward. Obviously, there will be some changes in the offseason. We’ll finish this year out the right way and then we’ll look to the future, which I think is still really bright in Green Bay.”
Running back Aaron Jones, who suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s loss to the Bears, was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Jones ran for 728 yards and eight touchdowns on 133 carries in 12 games. … The NFL Network reported Clark, who missed last Sunday’s game with an elbow injury suffered against Atlanta on Dec. 9, had been informed that he, too, is headed to IR. … The Packers signed wide receiver Allen Lazard to take Jones’ roster spot. The 6-foot-5, 227-pound Lazard, an undrafted rookie from Iowa State, had spent the entire season on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad. … The Packers added defensive lineman Eric Cotton and cornerback D.J. Killings to their practice squad.