According to Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s press conference on Friday, neither cornerback Jaire Alexander (back) or left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee) practiced today. Both were officially listed as questionable by the Packers, per LaFleur, going into Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
Jenkins was listed as a limited participant for both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice, but Alexander was not listed on the injury report until Thursday. Yesterday, LaFleur wouldn’t comment on whether Alexander was able to make it through the duration of practice on Thursday, simply stating, “He was limited.”
When LaFleur was pressed on if Alexander and Jenkins were held out due to precautionary measures, he replied, “I believe so,” on Friday.
Beyond Alexander and Jenkins, the other players listed as questionable for the Packers were running back Aaron Jones (hamstring), defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (knee), inside linebacker Quay Walker (knee), safety Darnell Savage (calf) and safety Zayne Anderson. Inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) remains doubtful for the upcoming game.
This is a pretty tough blow for Green Bay, a team coming off of a bye and looking for a “get right” game against the one-win Broncos. The hope, going into the bye, was that they’d come out the healthiest they’ve been since Week 1. Now, seven of their starters are either questionable or doubtful, including a potential re-aggravation of Alexander’s back injury and a new injury to Wyatt’s knee.
The team has not yet said whether or not they will bring back cornerback Eric Stokes (foot) to the active roster this week. Stokes’ 21-day practice window closes early next week, meaning that he’ll either be activated from the physically unable to perform list in Week 7 or Week 8. LaFleur said earlier this week that they might ease Stokes back into game action with some special teams play upon his return. With Alexander’s status up in the air, though, they might not have another option but to play Stokes on Sunday.
When Alexander previously missed playing time, Carrington Valentine got the start at outside cornerback with Rasul Douglas playing opposite of him and Keisean Nixon lined up in the slot. Valentine was benched against the Detroit Lions, though, in place of Corey Ballentine, a practice squad call-up who has now exhausted his in-season elevations. This means that if the team does plan on starting Ballentine at outside corner, they’ll need to clear a roster spot to promote him to the 53-man roster between now and Sunday. With so many players questionable on the Packers, and the team needing to make room for a Stokes activation soon, one has to wonder if they’ll actually pull the trigger on calling Ballentine up against Denver.