NFL News & Analysis

Packers' David Bakhtiari, Patriots' Stephon Gilmore to miss at least first six games of 2021 NFL season

The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers will be without premier starters for the first six weeks of the 2021 NFL season.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore will begin the 2021 season on the physically unable to perform list, his agent, Jason Chayut, told ESPN.

Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari will also begin the year on the PUP list, a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

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David Bakhtiari

Bakhtiari an established star: The Packers left tackle was PFF’s first-ranked offensive tackle heading into the 2021 season. He finished the 2020 campaign as the No. 2-graded player at the position (91.8), behind only the San Francisco 49ersTrent Williams. Click here to explore Bakhtiari's advanced stats from his NFL career.

Elgton Jenkins expected to fill in: Third-year offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins has played 1,911 offensive snaps at left guard, 297 at center, 33 at right tackle and 29 at left tackle in his NFL career. He earned a 66.9 PFF grade in 2020, tied for 24th among guards. Jenkins is expected to start at left tackle with Bakhtiari sidelined.

Stephon Gilmore

Gilmore dropped off in 2020: Gilmore ranked 57th in PFF grade across 632 defensive snaps last season. He ranked fifth in 2019 (82.7) and first in 2018 (90.9). Click here to explore more of Gilmore's advanced stats from his NFL career.

Jalen Mills set to take Gilmore's spot: Veteran Jalen Mills, who signed with the Patriots as a free agent this offseason, started opposite JC Jackson in the 2021 NFL preseason.

Mills has never earned a PFF grade above 68.9 in a season, and he split snaps between the box (329), slot cornerback (182), outside cornerback (227) and free safety (236) in 2020. He played 400-plus snaps at outside cornerback in each of the four seasons before his 2020 campaign in Philly (2016-19).


Temper expectations for Aaron Rodgers: Without Bakhtiari in the fold, Rodgers' chances of experiencing passing-touchdown regression increase substantially. Bakhtiari is the NFL's premier pass-blocking tackle, grading out at 94.4 in the department over the past three years. Fantasy drafters should not expect anything close to Rodgers' 9.1% touchdown rate from 2020 to carry over in 2021, bolstering the case for him as a player to fade at QB7 ADP. Click here for PFF's Fantasy Rankings.

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OL issues hurt run game: The loss of Bakhtiari, along with departed center Corey Linsley, creates question marks around how efficient this offense will be running the ball. Aaron Jones should be okay because of his work in the passing game, but it could be detrimental to how effective A.J. Dillon can be fantasy-wise on limited touches. Click here for PFF's Running Back Rankings and Tiers.


Hammer the Packers' over 10.5 wins: Bakhtiari starting the season on PUP dampens the outlook for Green Bay's season, but our power rankings tool still sees them finishing over their win total. If a break in price occurs because of this news, hammer the over 10.5 on the Packers' last dance season. PFF's new Power Rankings Tool offers projections based on 10,000 season simulations, given Team Point Spread Ratings, Strength of Schedule and team records.

Bet the Over 50 points for Week 1: PFF's Betting dashboard sees an opportunity on the 50-point Week 1 total, with the Packers returning our No. 1-ranked offense in 2021. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Check PFF Greenline for the value Week 1 play: Gilmore has been the most valuable cornerback in the league since 2017, per PFF's wins above replacement (WAR) metric. The Pats' matchup against Miami is at the second-lowest total for Week 1. PFF Greenline finds value on this number, with the expectation that Gilmore's injury keeps him out for the start of the season. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.


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