The Green Bay Packers have activated cornerback Eric Stokes from injured reserve. He’s played just four special teams snaps this season, and might be back after missing five consecutive weeks.
It’s been a tough stretch for Stokes. He suffered serious knee and ankle injuries last year, missing the second half of the season.
This year, he was expected to be back for week 1, but hamstring issues delayed his return and he started the season on the physically unable to perform list. After missing the first five games of 2023, Stokes was activated and played against the Denver Broncos in week 7, right after the Packers bye.
However, he suffered a new hamstring injury after playing just four plays all on special teams. “I know he’s extremely disappointed, and we’re disappointed for him,” Matt LaFleur said after Stokes’ most recent injury.
“That’s a long road to recovery, and to get out there and play four snaps.” The fact that Stokes has been designated to return from IR doesn’t mean he will be available to play on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Packers have a 21-day practice window, where Stokes is allowed to participate in team activities without counting towards the 53-man roster. The Packers can, however, activate him at any time during this window. That’s a similar situation to safety Darnell Savage, who also got injured against the Denver Broncos.
The difference is that Savage was designated to return from IR last week, so his 21-day practice window has already been underway for seven days.
The Packers waived wide receiver Bo Melton and running back James Robinson on Monday, which can be a good sign for Savage and Stokes’ chances.
If the Packers intend to activate both defensive backs, the roster spots are already available. Now, his role is expected to be bigger once again. Since he was placed on IR, the Packers traded Rasul Douglas to the Buffalo Bills.
With Jaire Alexander also injured, Green Bay has played with Carrington Valentine, Corey Ballentine, and Keisean Nixon at the three cornerback spots.