The Green Bay Packers had all members of their 53-man roster available in practice for the first time in the 2023 regular season on Friday. Ultimately, head coach Matt LaFleur announced in his post-practice press conference that only four players would be given a questionable designation, with none listed as either doubtful or out for the team’s upcoming game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The players who were listed as questionable were tight end Luke Musgrave (ankle), center Josh Myers (ankle), inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) and cornerback Jaire Alexander (back). This means that running back Aaron Jones (hamstring) is expected to play against the Vikings after missing Weeks 2, 3 and 5 with his injury. LaFleur claimed that Jones is “doing a little bit more” in practice, but that the back was limited on Friday and that the team wants to “be smart with him.” Jones played 35 percent and 36 percent of the offense’s snaps in his last two games — in Week 4 and Week 7 — respectively.
Musgrave is probably the biggest surprise questionable, as he missed both Wednesday and Thursday practices following his injury against the Denver Broncos last week. Earlier this week, LaFleur said that fellow rookie tight end Tucker Kraft was “going to have to play big for [Green Bay] this week,” implying that Musgrave was likely to miss action against Minnesota. On Friday, LaFleur admitted that he was “a little surprised” that Musgrave was able to participate in a limited fashion in today’s practice.
Myers missed Wednesday’s practice after being knocked out for a series against the Broncos on Sunday. It appears that the team just wants to take it easy on their center, following his ankle injury. If Myers, for whatever reason, can’t go, his replacement would be current starting right tackle Zach Tom — who filled in for him for a drive versus Denver. Yosh Nijman came off the bench to replace Tom at right tackle last Sunday.
Campbell has now practiced in all three practices of the week, the first practices he’s suited up for since he originally injured his ankle in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints. Signs seem to signal that he’s going to suit up against the Vikings, but Isaiah McDuffie’s solid performance in Campbell’s absence might allow the team to rest up their veteran linebacker for another week.
Like Campbell, Alexander was also limited in practice today, per LaFleur. Alexander’s back injury, which has only allowed him to play one game since Week 2, popped up again last week when he emerged on the injury report once again. He ended up missing last Friday’s practice, the game against Denver and this Thursday’s practice, but he was a limited participant on Wednesday and Friday of this week. LaFleur made it sound like Alexander’s status would be a true game-time decision. If Alexander can’t go, the assumption is that Carrington Valentine, who has earned two starts already this season, will be the team’s starting outside cornerback opposite of Rasul Douglas.
The big question for the Vikings this week was whether or not tight end T.J. Hockenson (foot) would be able to suit up for the game. Hockenson was given a non-participant status for Wednesday’s hypothetical injury report that Minnesota released, as they’re coming off of a Monday Night Football game. In the Vikings’ two actual practices this week, though, Hockenson was able to be on the field. Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Donnell announced on Friday that Hockenson will be active against the Packers this weekend.