In a shocking turn of events, Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes, who was not listed on the injury report by the team for any of their three practices this week, has been placed on the injured reserve just one day before a must-win matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. According to the Packers, Stokes’ injury is a hamstring issue, an injury that also led to him being placed on the injured reserve earlier this season.
Stokes began the 2023 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, as he continued to recover from a foot injury that ended his 2022 campaign after just nine games. After his recovery was delayed with a hamstring issue to start the 2023 season, Stokes was activated to play special teams against the Denver Broncos in October, leading to him playing a total of four special teams snaps before going down with a hamstring injury.
That’s how he landed on the injured reserve for the first time in 2023. He later returned, starting the last two games at cornerback for the Packers. Now, he’s out of the lineup again, resulting in him finishing the season on the injured reserve for back-to-back seasons following a stellar rookie year in 2021.
With Stokes out of the lineup, Jaire Alexander suspended and Rasul Douglas traded, the Packers are expected to start rookie seventh-round pick Carrington Valentine and former practice squadder Corey Ballentine at cornerback on Sunday Night Football. The rollercoaster ride at the cornerback position just won’t end.
As a corresponding roster move to the Packers placing Stokes on the injured reserve, the team brought former practice squad safety Benny Sapp III up to the 53-man roster. Sapp has previously played in three games off of the practice squad, recording 3 defensive snaps and 26 special teams snaps.
The Packers also elevated receiver Bo Melton from the practice squad, his third and final elevation of the season. Green Bay currently lists Christian Watson (hamstring) as doubtful and Dontayvion Wicks (chest/ankle) versus the Vikings, so Melton’s elevation could be a hint that at least one of these players is going to miss Sunday’s action.