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Packers Star Jaire Alexander Explains Genesis of Back Injury

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who is questionable for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, explained how he injured his back.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – In South Park, it was “Blame Canada.” For Jaire Alexander, it’s “Blame Alex.”

The Green Bay Packers’ All-Pro cornerback has missed three of the last four games with a back injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

What happened?

“Well, I joke with him now, but I said, ‘Blame Alex’” Alexander explained after Friday’s practice. Alex is practice-squad quarterback Alex McGough. “It happened in practice. It’s his fault. So, it’s all good. He didn’t do nothing wrong at all, but it’s his fault.”

Alexander added, “We collided in mid-air. I don’t know how the third-string QB and starting corner collide, but, hey, no one did nothing wrong.”

The collision occurred when McGough was working as a scout-team tight end.

“Yeah, it’s his fault,” Alexander said, smiling all the while.

Alexander missed back-to-back games against New Orleans and Detroit but felt good enough to play against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5.

“We play through a lot of different things as athletes,” Alexander said. “That definitely pushed it to the limit but, you know, I was going against Davante Adams.”

After losing to the Raiders, the Packers had their bye week. Moving ahead to Week 7 at Denver, Alexander practiced to start the week but the injury flared up on him and he was inactive for Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.

This week, Alexander was limited participation on Wednesday, didn’t practice on Thursday and was limited again on Friday.

“Honestly, it’s just something that has to be managed throughout the week,” Alexander said. “Man, playing in that Raiders game, that [crap] hurt. But, you know, I was going against Tae. It didn’t matter. We was expected to win that game last week, so they need me out there.”

The Packers (2-4) do need him. Losers of three in a row, they’re facing a must-win game against the surging Vikings, who are 3-4. While All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson is on injured reserve with a hamstring, the Vikings have won two games in a row. Entering this week’s games, quarterback Kirk Cousins was first in the league in touchdown passes and second in receiving yards.

“I’m ready to win,” Alexander said. “I’m sure everybody’s ready to win at this point. Hopefully it changes this week and we make the improvements this time.”

How Alexander feels on Sunday will be the key factor in determining whether he’s on the field against Cousins and his explosive rookie receiver, Jordan Addison. He thinks he’s got a “good shot” of returning to the lineup.

“Get moving around, see how everything feels. But that’s the plan,” Alexander said.

Regardless of whether he plays on Sunday, what can Alexander do to ensure the back doesn’t flare up again the next time he collides with a scout-team quarterback or a Pro Bowl receiver?

“What I’ve got going on is not like a regular type of thing,” he said, “but I’m also not going to speak about it with you all. It’s just something I’ve got to manage.”

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