GREEN BAY, Wis. – Just when it seemed Jaire Alexander was in the clear from the back injury that kept him out of three games earlier this season, the Green Bay Packers’ star cornerback appears likely to miss another game because of another injury.
The two-time Pro Bowler did not practice at all this week because of a shoulder injury he sustained in last Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Rams and appears unlikely to play this Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.
A source told ESPN on Friday that Alexander is not likely to be placed on injured reserve, which would require him to miss a minimum of four games, but that Alexander would need to increase the range of motion in his shoulder before he can return to play.
This is not the same shoulder that Alexander injured in 2021 that kept him out for most of the season, the source said.
Alexander finished the game against the Rams, playing all 58 defensive snaps in the process. He was injured while diving to try to make a play in the second half, the source said.
It was only last month when the Packers were so flush with cornerbacks that defensive coordinator Joe Barry called it “champagne problems” trying to figure out how to get them all on the field. That was just as Eric Stokes was set to come off injured reserve from last year’s foot injury. Since then, Stokes was injured again (hamstring) and is back on IR, Rasul Douglas was traded to the Bills and now Alexander is injured again.
“I think anytime you’re going through it, that’s the nature of our game in some respects,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Friday. “A lot of these guys are battling through injuries or aches and pains. That’s the sport of football.”
The Packers started rookie seventh-round pick Carrington Valentine at the cornerback spot opposite Alexander last week. Now, it could be Corey Ballentine, who originally was on the Packers’ practice squad last year, or Robert Rochell, who was signed off the Panthers practice squad on Oct. 25, at the other cornerback spot. The Packers are expected to leave Keisean Nixon as the third cornerback in the nickel package.
Another defensive starter, linebacker Quay Walker, was also listed as doubtful after missing the entire week of practice. Walker also missed the game against Rams.
The Packers listed five players as questionable, including three potential starting offensive linemen: Josh Myers (knee), Yosh Nijman (back) and Jon Runyan (neck). Two other defensive starters were questionable: Kenny Clark (shoulder) and Rudy Ford (calf).