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King’s Injury Deals Another Blow to Packers’ Defense

Fifth-year Packers cornerback Kevin King played through a shoulder injury for about one quarter before exiting against the Bengals.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers keep winning. They also keep losing starters to injuries.

After missing two games with a concussion, cornerback Kevin King was back for Sunday’s victory at Cincinnati. However, he suffered a shoulder injury early in the third quarter and eventually dropped out of the game for good early in the fourth when receiver Tyler Boyd tried to hurdle him at the sideline.

King went through testing on Monday. The results of those tests will determine what’s next for the fifth-year cornerback.

A source believed King was injured on Joe Burrow’s third-quarter interception. On the play, Burrow faked a toss to the left to Joe Mixon before botting to the right. To mimic the run, left tackle Jonah Williams pulled to the left. King attacked Williams and got bowled over, landing on his right shoulder.

“I think that was just the final straw I guess, if you will,” coach Matt LaFleur said of Boyd’s hurdle. “I thought Kevin played a really good game. He was playing a lot of that game with basically one arm. So, I thought he competed well and was playing really, really well. I thought he triggered and was physical when people caught balls. There were a couple short passes thrown right in front of him, I want to say maybe it was the first or second play of the game where he triggered, and he did it later on, as well. I was happy with how he was playing and it’s unfortunate that happened.”

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King played 42 of 67 snaps and made five tackles. According to Pro Football Focus and its best guess at coverage responsibilities, he allowed three catches for merely 17 yards.

The team’s first pick of the 2017 draft, King entered this season having missed 23 of a possible 64 regular-season games. He played in only 11 games last season and returned on a one-year contract.

While King’s career has been marred by injuries and plagued by inconsistent play, any extended absence would be a major blow. All-Pro Jaire Alexander is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury of his own. The Packers got through the rest of the Cincinnati game with first-round pick Eric Stokes and Isaac Yiadom at corner and Chandon Sullivan in the slot. The depth consists of fifth-round pick Shemar Jean-Charles, who was posterized by Mixon on Mixon’s fourth-quarter touchdown, Rasul Douglas, who was added off Arizona’s practice squad last week and is on his fourth team since training camp started, and Kabion Ento, an undrafted free agent in 2019 who is on the practice squad.

The next two weeks, Green Bay will face Chicago rookie Justin Fields and Washington’s Taylor Heinicke. Then comes a gauntlet of quarterbacks: Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, Seattle’s Russell Wilson (if healthy), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins and the Rams’ Matthew Stafford before the bye.

“Anytime you’re losing starters, that’s never fun,” LaFleur said. “But it is the next man up, and we’re fortunate we’ve got other guys here we feel very, very confident in, and they’re going to have to prove us right.”


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