On Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers announced that the team has suspended cornerback Jaire Alexander for one game for what they call “conduct detrimental to the team.” The issue stems from Alexander’s actions at the coin toss from last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
Alexander, who is from Charlotte, took it upon himself to walk out with the captains for the coin toss, even though Alexander was not named a captain for the game. For reference, the captains, which typically rotate weekly, were running back Aaron Jones, inside linebacker Quay Walker and inside linebacker Eric Wilson — who was the special teams captain versus Carolina.
Jaire Alexander wasn’t announced by the Packers as a game captain, but he went out for the coin toss anyway. And called it. And won it. And almost messed it up.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 24, 2023
Sounds like he just did it on his own.
“It’s only suiting. I don’t think coach knew I was from Charlotte.” pic.twitter.com/EVahq6QoOJ
When asked about it after the game, Alexander insinuated that he made the decision himself, claiming, “It’s only suiting. I don’t think coach knew I was from Charlotte.”
The Packers won the toss and Alexander told the officials that the defense wanted to be on the field first. If you’re keeping along with this line of action, this would have led to Carolina opening up both halves with the ball, since the Packers didn’t choose to defer. Officials overruled the decision and the Packers were able to open the second half with the football.
Here is general manager Brian Gutekunst’s statement on Alexander’s suspension, via the Packers’ press release:
“The decision to suspend a player is never easy and not one we take lightly. Unfortunately, Jaire’s actions prior to the game in Carolina led us to take this step. As an organization, we have an expectation that everyone puts the team first. While we are disappointed, we had a good conversation with Jaire this morning and fully expect him to learn from this as we move forward together. We look forward to welcoming him back next week as he is a valued member of this team and will continue to be in the future.”
The press release did not include head coach Matt LaFleur’s statement on the subject, though, the team will practice today — meaning that LaFleur will meet with the press at some point on Wednesday.
With Alexander on the suspended list, the Packers should have an extra roster spot and an extra gameday activation available for at least this week. The expected starting outside cornerbacks on Sunday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings are Eric Stokes and Carrington Valentine with Corey Ballentine as the next man up and Keisean Nixon playing the nickel.