GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Packers don’t just have injury issues, they have injury issues to several of their most important players with Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander the latest who is in danger of missing significant time.
The 2018 first-round pick left Sunday’s 27-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers with an injury to his right shoulder, and the Packers (3-1) on Monday weren’t ready to rule out the worst — that Alexander could be lost indefinitely, if not for the season.
“Everything’s kind of getting looked at right now,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said, adding that he did not expect to have an update until Wednesday.
Alexander underwent tests on Monday and after reviewing the results, the Packers medical staff sent the scans to specialists.
“They’re just getting some other opinions on how to proceed, I guess, is the best way for me to say it right now,” LaFleur said.
Alexander was injured in the third quarter when he hit Steelers running back Najee Harris on a fourth-down reception. Harris bounced off Alexander but was eventually stopped short of the first down.
If Kevin King can’t clear the concussion protocol — he has missed the last two games — then the Packers (3-1) would be without two of their top cornerbacks for Sunday’s game at the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1). They finished the Steelers’ game with rookie first-round pick Eric Stokes, Isaac Yiadom (who was acquired in a training camp trade this summer) and slot corner Chandon Sullivan. Stokes had his first career interception against the Steelers.
Alexander’s injury was the latest to a key player. The Packers finished Sunday’s game without seven preferred starters: outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (back), inside linebacker Krys Barnes (concussion), Alexander and King on defense plus receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury) and offensive linemen David Bakhtiari (on PUP while recovering from ACL surgery) and Elgton Jenkins (ankle) on offense. Of those seven, four were either All Pro or Pro Bowl selections last season.
“Right now, we’ve got a few of our stud players on the bench due to injury,” LaFleur said.
Smith, who went on injured reserve last month after playing just 18 snaps in the opener, underwent surgery last week, and LaFleur confirmed that his season also is in jeopardy.
“We do not know if he’s out for the year … I just know it’s going to be a while,” LaFleur said.