The Green Bay Packers have shared unfortunate injury news on cornerback Jaire Alexander, which the team expects will sideline him for at least one game.
On Wednesday, November 8, Green Bay listed Alexander on the injury report with a shoulder issue he suffered during the previous game against the Los Angeles Rams. A back injury Alexander suffered earlier in the season has cost the CB three games already this year.
Alexander’s shoulder problem kept him out of practice all week and the Packers listed him as doubtful on Friday for this weekend’s road matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN reported later in the day on the likelihood that Alexander faces an injured reserve (IR) designation.
“A source told ESPN on Friday that Alexander is not likely to be placed on injured reserve, which would require him to miss a minimum of four games, but that Alexander would need to increase the range of motion in his shoulder before he can return to play,” Demovsky wrote. “This is not the same shoulder that Alexander injured in 2021 that kept him out for most of the season, the source said.”
Packers Cornerback Room Decimated by Injuries, Trade
A cornerback room that was billed as one of Green Bay’s positional strengths coming into the 2023 campaign has become a source of consternation halfway through the year due to injuries and a key departure.
Eric Stokes suffered knee and foot injuries during the middle of last season that required surgery. He returned to the roster ahead of the team’s matchup with the Denver Broncos on October 22, but strained his hamstring during a special teams play in that game. Green Bay subsequently put Stokes on IR, where he must remain for at least two more weeks.
The Packers then made a surprise trade that sent Rasul Douglas to the Buffalo Bills, swapping their fifth-round pick for the Bills’ third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. The move was hard on several players in the locker room, namely running back Aaron Jones and cornerback Keisean Nixon, who both spoke about it publicly.
Green Bay’s decision to move on from Douglas signaled that the organization doesn’t believe it has a good chance to make the playoffs this year and, as such, is cutting salary and stockpiling draft picks for a rebuild that began the moment general manager Brian Gutekunst traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets.
Packers to Defend Steelers with Inexperienced Secondary
As a result of the relative chaos in the secondary, Green Bay’s top three options at the position headed into Pittsburgh this week are Nixon, Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine.
Valentine, a seventh-round rookie, comported himself well against the Rams’ dynamic receiving duo of Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua last week. He played well enough to earn praise from Alexander and others in the organization.
“Man, [Valentine] played like a top-tier corner in the league and it’s exciting to see. He will continue to do that because that’s the standard now,” Alexander said, per Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. “I can’t be more happy to play alongside somebody like that.”
The Steelers don’t have a dynamic air attack, ranking 29th in the NFL in total passing production with 1,646 yards on the season (206 yards per game). Still, the Packers’ backup cornerback crew is likely to have its hands full with Pittsburgh’s talented duo of wide receivers in Diontae Johnson and George Pickens.