Packers-49ers Tuesday Injury Report: Jaire Alexander ‘Practices’

The Green Bay Packers have 15 players on their first injury report of the week before facing the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional-round playoff game on Saturday night.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – With a short turnaround for Saturday night’s playoff game at the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers did not practice on Tuesday. If they would have practiced, cornerback Jaire Alexander would have been limited participation.

That’s noteworthy. Alexander rolled his ankle at practice last week but rehabbed his way into a starring role in the playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys with a critical first-quarter interception that helped give the Packers a quick 14-0 lead. However, he turned the ankle while coming up to make a tackle with about 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Alexander did not return to action, and it had nothing to do with the lopsided score.

“I don’t think he would have gone back in, but I don’t know,” coach Matt LaFleur said on Monday. “I think we’ll know more throughout the course of the week and, hopefully, he’ll be OK to play because he brings a lot to our team. And it was cool to see him in a game of this magnitude go play the way he did.”

LaFleur placed 15 players on his initial injury report of the week. That includes outside linebacker Kingsley Enagbare, who suffered a significant knee injury late in the game. He had a team-high two quarterback hits against the Cowboys.

“I can’t say enough great things about him, and to see the growth from last year to this year, his contributions not only on defense but on teams, as well, and I just love his play style, his relentless pursuit of the football,” LaFleur said. “There’s a number of examples in that game of the physicality that we preach, the hustle to the ball.”

LaFleur said the rest of the team’s outside linebackers, as well as position coach Jason Rebrovich, had gathered around Enagbare to help him deal with the mental and physical pain.

“Those guys are all hurting for him. We’re all hurting for him,” LaFleur said. “He’s come so far, and he just shows up with the right approach, right attitude each and every day. It is obviously very disappointing for him, for our football team that he’s in this position.”

The Packers often rotate their outside linebackers in pairs, so Rashan Gary and Preston Smith are on the field together and then are replaced by Enagbare and first-round pick Lukas Van Ness. Without Enagbare, Brenton Cox is the next man up.

The undrafted rookie has played in four games, logging four snaps on defense and nine on special teams. His last game was on Thanksgiving at Detroit; his last snaps on defense were in Week 6 at Denver.

In San Francisco, the bye week did wonders for star running back Christian McCaffrey, who was full participation.

Four players did not practice: left tackle Trent Williams, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and safety Logan Ryan. All three will practice on Wednesday, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

“I think he’s geared up and ready to go,” Shanahan said of McCaffrey, who led the NFL in scrimmage yardage. “Same way he was last year. Probably the same way he was in his playoff game when he was 5 years old, too. Christian’s always the same. He’s always waiting for that moment. He’s been waiting for this moment for a while.”

 

 

Gideon Canice

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