To the surprise of most, Rasul Douglas and Kevin King started at cornerback against the Kansas City Chiefs after a pre-game injury kept rookie Eric Stokes from participating in the game. Later on in the matchup, nose tackle Kenny Clark, who registered 24 defensive snaps before his injury, went down.
Neither injury has been officially disclosed, but in his Monday media availability, head coach Matt LaFleur noted that neither injury should be a “long-term” issue for the players. He would not commit to them playing on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but used his typical “we’ll see where we’re at at the end of the week” line in regards to the injuries.
It is unclear at this point who will start opposite of Stokes if Stokes is able to play in Week 10. King has only played once since Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals due to a shoulder injury, while Douglas has stepped up in recent weeks and has already clearly vaulted over Isaac Yiadom on the depth chart. Still, King’s best two games in recent years have likely come in his last two outings. For example, Pro Football Focus had King, coming off of injury, as the highest-graded player in the Packers-Chiefs game.
If the cornerback position is getting hot, though, the defensive line is getting cold. Kingsley Keke (concussion) missed Sunday’s action while Dean Lowry (hamstring) was on a pitch count even before Clark went down with an injury. Tyler Lancaster, another interior lineman, also went down momentarily for an injury, leaving T.J. Slaton, who had only played 66 defensive snaps through eight weeks, to play 45 snaps in a single game. He did well, but the team had to rely on their depth and reserves at the position against the Chiefs. Getting healthy, just from a numbers perspective, will be a huge point of emphasis at the position.