Longtime Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari doesn't like artificial surfaces in the NFL, but he wants people to know he wouldn't go as far as avoiding playing on them.
The 31-year-old opened his 11th season in the league with a start in his team's win over the Chicago Bears, who play on grass.
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.
David Bakhtiari had *a lot* to say today.
Here’s some of it: pic.twitter.com/gVt7m7WBMQ
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 20, 2023
The idea seemed to gain steam from a social media post shared by Bakhtiari's brother, Eric, which some took to mean that the league "messed around and found out" 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 might or might 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 suffered the initial injury on New Year's Eve 2020 and had arthroscopic surgery in November 2021.
After a total of three surgeries in almost three years, it's understandable that Bakhtiari and LaFleur would be tired of talking about the injury.