This will start the Pro Bowl cornerback’s 21-day IR-activation clock. The Packers must move Alexander back onto their active roster by Dec. 29 or place him on season-ending IR. Alexander has not played since Week 4. Alexander is likely to be eased back into action, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets, so a Week 14 return may not be in the cards.
A shoulder injury has sidelined Alexander for most of this season, and although the Packers have maintained on defense despite Za’Darius Smith missing almost all of the year as well, having their top cover man back would certainly be a big bonus. Green Bay is a game back of Arizona for the NFC’s lone bye, with Tampa Bay joining the Packers at 9-3.
Alexander, who broke through for his first Pro Bowl in 2020, could have opted for a surgery that would have ended his season. But the fourth-year defender did not take that route, keeping the door open for a late-season return. The Packers have expected both he and Smith to be back late this year, but the latter’s return timetable has yet to take shape.
Regardless of Alexander’s return status, the former first-round pick will be in position to score a lucrative extension. The Packers picked up the Louisville alum’s fifth-year option, and with 2021 first-round corner Eric Stokes early in his rookie contract, a clear window will open for Alexander to land a top-tier deal.
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