A little background: Let $f(z)=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a(n) e^{2\pi i nz}$ be a classical holomorphic cuspidal eigenform on $\Gamma_1(N)$, of weight $k \geq 2$ normalized with $a(1)=1$. The Ramanujan conjecture is the assertion that $|a(n)| \leq n^{\frac{k-1}{2}}d(n)$. This is a theorem, due to several people, but the main steps in its proof are the following two:

Show that $f$ can be "realized" in the etale cohomology of a suitable variety. In fact $f$ can be found in $H^{k-1}$ of a $k-2$-fold self-product of the universal elliptic curve over $X_1(N)$. This step is due to Eichler, Igusa, Kuga/Sato, and Deligne (who showed how to desingularize the variety). This reduces the Ramanujan conjecture to the Weil conjectures.

Prove the Weil conjectures. This is of course due originally to Deligne, although if I understand correctly, there are now several other proofs (a p-adic proof by Kedlaya, etc.)

Now, there is *another* approach to the Ramanujan conjecture, essentially through Langlands functoriality. In particular, if we knew for all $n$ that the L-functions $L(s,\mathrm{sym}^n f)$ were holomorphic and nonvanishing in the halfplane $Re(s)\geq 1$, the Ramanujan conjecture would follow. This observation is, I believe, due to ~~Serre~~ Langlands.

Nowadays these analytic properties are *known*, by the potential modularity and modularity lifting results of Barnet-Lamb/Clozel/Gee/Geraghty/Harris/Shephard-Barron/Taylor. However, the proofs of potential modularity and modularity lifting seem to utilize the Ramanujan conjecture. Hence my question:

Can the recent proofs of potential modularity for symmetric powers of $GL2$ modular forms be modified so they do not assume the Ramanujan conjecture, hence giving a new proof of the Ramanujan conjecture?

(If I got any of the history or attributions wrong, please correct me!)