January 18, 2022

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Packers will play starters this week at Detroit

2 min read
Packers will play starters this week at Detroit

“I know that you can look at it a million different ways and there’s never a right answer unless it works out,” LaFleur said. “If somebody goes in there and gets injured then, ‘Well, why’d you play your guys?’ But if you go out there in that first playoff game and you lay an egg, ‘Well, why’d you rest your guys?’ So there’s not a right answer.”

Adding more intrigue are the looming possibilities the Packers could get some players back from injury, and whether they need to get some game snaps in Detroit before the playoffs, or if they could be successful in the postseason without the warm-up.

Specifically, left tackle David Bakhtiari and cornerback Jaire Alexander could potentially return at some point this month after long absences – Bakhtiari hasn’t played this season, while Alexander has been out since Week 4.

Both players are being evaluated on a day-to-day basis regarding their availability to practice. LaFleur said Alexander is “getting close” physically to being able to test his shoulder injury by tackling, but complicating matters is he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday.

“In a perfect scenario, they would get reps in the regular season,” LaFleur said. “We’ll see if that comes to fruition this weekend or not.

“You’re talking about two premier players. I think they’ve shown enough over the course of their career that they can handle it. I know the moment will never be too big for them, and so we’ve got a lot of confidence if they’re available, that they will play.”

Receiver Randall Cobb also returned to practice last week in a speedy recovery from core muscle surgery, so his progress will be monitored as well. Cobb has missed the last four games.

Rodgers expressed confidence Sunday night Cobb would be back at some point. Edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, veteran tackle Billy Turner and rookie center Josh Myers also remain out with injuries, but their status wasn’t discussed by LaFleur.