Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander still out with concussion
GREEN BAY - Although the Green Bay Packers had three days away from the field to rest after their Thursday night win over the San Francisco 49ers, they returned to practice Monday without several players.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander remains in concussion protocol after taking hits to the head on consecutive plays early in the second quarter and exiting the game. Head coach Matt LaFleur did not share a timeline for his return.
Tackle Rick Wagner (knee), who did not return for the second half of the game after playing the entire first half at right tackle, also did not participate in practice.
Additionally, safety Vernon Scott (shoulder), wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, safety Will Redmond (shoulder), wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and practice squad running back Dexter Williams (knee) did not participate. Both Scott and Redmond were ruled out leading up to Thursday’s game.
Running back A.J. Dillon and inside linebacker Krys Barnes, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 2 and Nov. 6, respectively, remain sidelined. Quarterback Jordan Love, who was deemed a close contact to Barnes, is also still on reserve/COVID-19. LaFleur was unsure of when they would be healthy enough to return, saying that “hopefully they’ll be back sooner than later.”
Dillon’s high-risk close contacts, running back Jamaal Williams and inside linebacker Kamal Martin, returned to practice Monday and are off of the reserve list.
Both cornerback Kevin King (quadriceps) and left tackle David Bakhtiari (chest) continue to practice after missing the last four and three games, respectively. Wide receiver Allen Lazard and inside linebacker Christian Kirksey, who are on injured reserve, also participated in practice. LaFleur said Friday that he is “hopeful” to get each player back this week.
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The Packers spent their rare Monday practice getting “their mind back on ball” after the long weekend, according to LaFleur.
“Anytime you have multiple days off you kind of want to knock the rust off, so to speak, so we have a clean, crisp practice on Wednesday and for the rest of the week,” LaFleur said.
Hinkle Field nearing completion
LaFleur has had to juggle his practice schedules a bit through the first half of this season as he has tried to preserve the natural turf of Ray Nitschke Field while also not having his players consistently practice on the artificial surface of the Don Hutson Center. He’ll get some help in that regard soon, as Clarke Hinkle Field’s renovations appear to be nearing completion.
Hinkle Field was outfitted with the same SIS Grass turf that's used in Lambeau Field and an underground heating system was added. Twenty-foot poles were also installed on the north end of the field where screens can be raised to block the view of anyone who may be inside the Resch Expo. The screens will be lowered when the team is not practicing.
“I will say I thought the grass at Nitschke is in phenomenal shape,” LaFleur said. “(Fields manager) Allen (Johnson) does a great job keeping that grass intact, especially with this northern climate that we’re in. And it’s in really good shape right now. I would anticipate in the next couple weeks, whether it’s next week or the following week that we’ll be able to transition over to the other field.”
Colts game flexed to national time slot
The Packers are headed to Indianapolis for the first time since 2012 and their Nov. 22 game against the Colts has been flexed to 3:25 p.m. CT for a national audience.
It had originally been a noon kickoff.
The Colts are a game out of the AFC South lead at 5-3 and have the league’s No. 1 overall defense and No. 3 scoring defense. The Packers have the No. 7 offense and No. 3 scoring offense in the league.
Colts rookie running back and Wisconsin alumnus Jonathan Taylor has started the last seven games and has rushed for 394 yards and four touchdowns.