Sunday, October 17, 2021

Packer’s starter played ‘basically with one arm’ against Bengals

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While cornerback Kevin King tends to be one of the Green Bay Packers’ most scrutinized defenders, it would be hard to deny his toughness after his head coach said he played in Cincinnati during the week 5 win.

King had missed the last two games for the Packers with a concussion he picked up in week 3 before their game in San Francisco, but he returned against the Bengals on Sunday and played his best game of the year, only being 17 Yards across his place left 31 coverage snaps and a season high of four tackles.

Apparently, King did so while battling his way through a new shoulder injury.

“He basically played part of this game with one arm,” said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur in the aftermath after King was eliminated because of his shoulder late in the fourth quarter. “So I thought he competed well and played really, really well. I thought it triggered and was physical when people caught balls. There were a few short passes thrown at the very front … where it triggered and later it did. I was happy with his game and it’s unfortunate that that happened. “

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Many speculated after the game that King might have injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter, which ended with Bengal wide receiver Tyler Boyd jumping in his upper body. It appeared that Boyd thought King was going to make a tackle, which prompted him to try to jump over him for an extra few yards. Instead, he clumsily clashed with King and knocked him unconscious for the remainder of the game.

LaFleur did not disclose the exact game in which King sustained his shoulder injury in Sunday’s aftermath, but made it clear that it did so before his encounter with Boyd.

“It happened earlier,” said LaFleur. “I think that was just the last straw, if you will.”

Unfortunately, LaFleur had no news on whether or not King would be available for the street game October 6-13 when the week’s first injury report comes out.

He also acknowledged the Packers’ concerns about their cornerback depth as their two top veterans struggle with injuries.

“Yeah, I absolutely think so,” said LaFleur when asked if the team were concerned about the recent cornerback injuries. “Every time you lose starters it’s never fun, but it’s the next man and we’re lucky to have other guys here who we feel very, very safe about and who have to prove us right. “

The Packers could head to Chicago next weekend with first-round rookie Eric Stokes as their best available cornerback, depending on the severity of King’s injury, which raises some obvious concerns about a fast-paced Bears offensive that heralds the receipt of guns like Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. However, if the Packers crush the panic button, it won’t be Stokes’ fault.

Number 29 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Stokes has continued to impress the Packers in his first five games in the major leagues. Having had limited chances in his first two appearances, Stokes stepped out in Week 3 to make his first career start against San Francisco, allowing only two receptions for 22 yards. The very next week he sealed the Packers’ 27-17 win over Pittsburgh when he picked up one of Ben Roethlisberger’s passports in the fourth quarter and also added the best eight tackles of his career.

While Stokes had a tougher time in Week 5, LaFleur never felt like his rookie corner was putting himself in a bad position against the Bengals, despite Joe Burrow and first-round mate Ja’Marr Chase paying him a couple of times throughout the afternoon let.

“I thought Stokes was coming at the very highest level,” said LaFleur. “I loved the way he (Ja’Marr) just challenged Chase and was really in a great position with every throw he had on him. You have to give credit to the Bengals, you have to give Ja’Marr a lot of credit. The catch he made on the sidelines in overtime was … I mean, there are very few guys who can do that. I also think (Joe) Burrow did a good job on one of the third downs where he threw a back shoulder and that’s just one of those games where he’s in perfect position and you attribute it to offense in that situation must for their execution. I always tell our boys: ‘There is no defense for the perfect ball’ and that was the perfect ball and the guy adapted in no time. “

“I thought Stokes was coming at the very highest level,” said LaFleur. “I loved the way he (Ja’Marr) just challenged Chase and was really in a great position with every throw he had on him. You have to give credit to the Bengals, you have to give Ja’Marr a lot of credit. The catch he made on the sidelines in overtime was … I mean, there are very few guys who can do that. I also think (Joe) Burrow did a good job on one of the third downs where he threw a back shoulder and that’s just one of those games where he’s in perfect position and you attribute it to offense in that situation must for their execution. I always tell our boys: ‘There is no defense for the perfect ball’ and that was the perfect ball and the guy adapted in no time. “

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