On Friday, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stated that inside linebacker Quay Walker (groin) and cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) are doubtful going into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Alexander was able to finish the game last week against the Los Angeles Rams while Walker missed the contest entirely. According to LaFleur, there is no long-term concern with Walker’s groin injury.
With Rasul Douglas traded and Eric Stokes (hamstring) on the injured reserve, the Packers will start Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine at outside cornerback if Alexander doesn’t suit up against the Steelers. Valentine has started four games already in 2023 and has performed about as well as you can ask from a seventh-round rookie. Ballentine, meanwhile, last started on defense with the New York Giants in 2020 — three teams ago — and has played 181 of his 278 snaps during his Green Bay tenure on special teams, not defense.
The replacement for Walker, who like Alexander didn’t practice once this week, would be Isaiah McDuffie, who has been subbing in for both Walker and De’Vondre Campbell in the lineup this season. McDuffie has four starts and defensive 258 snaps under his belt in 2023, after playing just 174 combined defensive snaps over his first two years with the Packers.
Beyond the doubtfuls, tackle Yosh Nijman, center Josh Myers, guard Jon Runyan Jr., nose tackle Kenny Clark and safety Rudy Ford were listed as questionable by the team. Keep an eye out for Saturday’s practice squad elevations, as it may tell you how the Packers think starters’ injury chances are playing out. With so many positions thin, the team will need to strategize how they’re going manage their two call-ups this week.