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Aaron Rodgers’ left tackle on Packers suffers season-ending knee injury in practice

Aaron Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, Packers

A huge blow to the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl hopes has emerged for Aaron Rodgers: Star left tackle David Bakhtiari will miss the rest of the season with an apparent knee injury, possibly a torn ACL.

The three-time Pro Bowler suffered the injury during practice on Thursday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Green Bay LT was selected to the Pro Bowl for his stellar play this season, and is widely regarded as one of the most important and best offensive linemen in football.

In October, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke about Bakhtiari’s importance to him and the Packers — as a friend and blind-side protector — when the 28-year old was forced to exit the team’s Week 6 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Packers (12-3) have a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs with a win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Bakhtiari still has to undergo an MRI, but if the torn ACL is confirmed, he could miss the start of the 2021 campaign for the Packers.

In November, Bakhtiari signed a four-year, $103.5 million contract with the Packers, which made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

Bakhtiari became a full-time starter in 2013, and has been a cornerstone of a steady Packers offensive line over the past seven seasons.

Led by Bakhtiari, the Packers rank second in the NFL in sacks allowed per game entering Week 17.

The consistent protection has allowed a 37-year old Aaron Rodgers to produce one of the best seasons of his career with the Packers. Rodgers is the MVP front-runner entering the season’s final week, having tossed 44 touchdowns against five interceptions.

Yosh Nijman is listed behind Bakhtiari at left tackle on the team’s depth chart.