The Green Bay Packers announced on Saturday that they have elevated practice squad cornerback David Long Jr. to the game day roster for their Wild Card round game against the Dallas Cowboys. If you’re reading the tea leaves here, it’s not looking good for starting cornerback Jaire Alexander — who is dealing with an ankle and was a non-participant in practice on both Thursday and Friday.
To really understand what’s happening here, let’s take a look at the timeline of events over the last week-plus:
- January 6th: One day before the team’s regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears, the Packers released Long from the practice squad.
- January 10th: Cornerback Jaire Alexander rolled his ankle in a “freak” accident during the team’s walkthrough practice.
- January 12th: Long was re-signed to the team’s practice squad ahead of their final practice of the week.
- January 13th: Long was elevated to the active roster versus the Cowboys.
This rapid change in Long’s status probably wouldn’t have happened if the team was not worried about Alexander’s injury situation. For what it’s worth, the team officially listed Alexander as “questionable” on Friday. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Sunday morning, Alexander is now viewed with a “50/50” chance to play by the Packers.
If Alexander is out of the lineup, the starting outside cornerbacks against Dallas will be rookie seventh-round pick Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine — who began the season on the practice squad himself. Backing the duo of Valentine and Ballentine would be Robert Rochell, who was poached from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad in Week 8, and now Long. While Keisean Nixon is listed as a cornerback on the roster, he has been playing exclusively as a slot corner for Green Bay in 2023.