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Week 5 injury report: Jaire Alexander could return “in a matter of weeks,” avoids immediate surgery

Matt LaFleur also provided insight on his two injured starting offensive linemen.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Following Friday’s practice, Packers head coach Matt Lafleur told the press that the plan for Jaire Alexander’s shoulder injury is to wait off on surgery, which likely would be season-ending, and hope that the cornerback’s shoulder heals on its own. LaFleur stated, “We got better clarity with that. We’re going to let it heal and see where it’s at. We’re hopeful it’ll heal the right way and he’ll be back with us in a matter of weeks.”

The severity of Alexander’s shoulder injury has been a question this week, as LaFleur told the press on Monday that he would have an update for them on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the update was that the team was hoping to avoid shoulder surgery, but that they and Alexander both were looking for second opinions on the shoulder before they made a plan moving forward.

The assumption is that if Alexander is able to play this season, his shoulder injury will take around a month to recover enough for him to see the field. If that is indeed the case, there’s a good chance that Alexander lands on the Packers’ injured reserve list with an opportunity to return three weeks after he has been given that designation, as it would save Green Bay a roster spot they can use elsewhere.

LaFleur also noted that starting center Josh Myers (finger) is going to miss Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals while “left tackle” Elgton Jenkins (ankle) is going to be listed as questionable, better news than if he was listed as doubtful. He did not give any indication whether Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, or Jake Hanson will start at center on Sunday in place of Myers.

The only other Packer on their final injury report of the week is tackle Dennis Kelly, who is listed as questionable with an illness.

The Cincinnati Bengals had a healthy Friday, as CB Chidobe Awuzie, WR Tee Higgins, and WR Stanley Morgan went from limited participants in practice to full participants who are not at risk of missing Sunday’s game. The following five Bengals are still listed as questionable going into the matchup: C Trey Hopkins (knee), RB Joe Mixon (ankle), DT Larry Ogunjobi (knee), G D’Ante Smith (illness), and CB Trae Waynes (hamstring.)

Cincinnati guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, who did not participate in a single practice this week, is officially ruled out with a knee injury. Reserve receiver Mike Thomas is listed as doubtful with an ankle after not participating during their Friday session.