The Packers’ Kevin King played “with basically one arm” according to his coach Mike McCarthy, who said the linebacker would be out for a few weeks.
Kevin King #20 of the Green Bay Packers poses before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on November 3, 2019.
While Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King is one of the team’s most criticized defenders, it’s difficult to argue with his fortitude given what his head coach claimed he went through during the team’s Week 5 victory in Cincinnati.
With a concussion suffered in Week 3 prior to the Packers’ game in San Francisco, King had missed the previous two games for the Packers, but he returned on Sunday against the Bengals and had his best game of the season, allowing just 17 receiving yards on 31 coverage snaps and recording a season-high four tackles.
King reportedly did it while gritting his teeth as he battled a fresh shoulder ailment.
After King left late in the fourth quarter due to a shoulder injury, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stated in the postgame press conference, “He was playing part of the game with essentially one arm.” “I felt he competed brilliantly and played very well.” When individuals caught balls, I felt he became upset and became violent. He threw a few of short passes directly in front of me that he triggered, then he did it again afterwards. I was pleased with his performance, and it’s sad that this occurred.”
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The ‘Final Straw’ was an awkward encounter with Boyd.
Following the game, many believed that King had hurt his shoulder on a fourth-quarter play that concluded with Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd leaping into his upper body. Boyd seemed to believe King was going low for a tackle, leading him to attempt a jump over him for extra yards. Instead, he crashed awkwardly with King, knocking him out for the rest of the game.
In the postgame on Sunday, LaFleur didn’t reveal the specific play on which King injured his shoulder, but he did say it occurred before his altercation with Boyd.
“It was earlier,” LaFleur said. “I believe that was the clincher, if you will.”
Unfortunately, LaFleur had no word on whether King would be able to play in Week 6’s road game against the Chicago Bears, and told reporters on Monday that he wouldn’t know more about his shoulder injury until later in the week, most likely on Wednesday, October 13, when the week’s first injury report is released.
He also recognized the Packers’ worries regarding cornerback depth, given that both of their top veterans are injured.
When asked whether the club was worried about the recent string of cornerback injuries, LaFleur replied, “I believe definitely.” “It’s never fun to lose starters, but it’s all about the next man up, and we’re fortunate to have other guys here who we have a lot of faith in, and they’re going to have to prove us wrong.”
The worth of Eric Stokes is increasing.
Depending on the severity of King’s injury, the Packers may be forced to go to Chicago with first-round rookie Eric Stokes as their best available cornerback next weekend, posing obvious depth issues against a Bears offense that has receiving threats like Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. It won’t be because of Stokes that the Packers hit the panic button.
Over his first five games in the big leagues, Stokes, the No. 29 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, has continued to impress for the Packers. After receiving little playing time in his first two games, Stokes stepped up in Week 3 to start for the first time in his career against San Francisco, allowing just two catches for 22 yards. He clinched the Packers’ 27-17 victory against Pittsburgh the next week by intercepting one of Ben Roethlisberger’s passes in the fourth quarter, while also recording a career-high eight tackles.
While Stokes had a more difficult time in Week 5, despite Joe Burrow and fellow first-rounder Ja’Marr Chase making him pay a few times during the day, LaFleur never thought his rookie corner placed himself in a bad position against the Bengals.
LaFleur stated, “I felt Stokes competed at the greatest level.” “I liked how he just went after (Ja’Marr) Chase and was in excellent position on every pass he had on him. You have to give the Bengals credit, and Ja’Marr deserves a lot of credit. That catch he made on the sidelines in overtime was… I mean, there aren’t many men that can make that play. I also thought (Joe) Burrow did a great job on one of the third-down throws when he threw a back shoulder. That’s just one of those plays where he’s in ideal position, and you have to credit the offense for their execution in that scenario. “There’s no defense for the perfect ball,” I constantly tell our players, and it was the perfect pass, and the man adjusted on the fly.”
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