Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander has been suspended one game by the team for his actions during the coin toss preceding a 33-30 victory at the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst announced Wednesday that Alexander was being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. The suspension means Alexander won’t play for the Packers (7-8) during their Sunday night game at the Minnesota Vikings (7-8) in a matchup critical to both teams’ playoff hopes.
Alexander was in line to be the primary defender on superstar Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, the most important player on Minnesota’s offense — especially with quarterback Kirk Cousins done for the season with a torn Achilles.
Although Alexander hadn’t been selected as a team captain for last Sunday’s game with the Panthers, he still came out for the coin toss. He nearly cost his team by initially saying the Packers wanted to be on defense first rather than saying they deferred the option. The Packers received a break when referee Alex Kemp asked Alexander to clarify.
“The decision to suspend a player is never easy and not one we take lightly. Unfortunately, Jaire’s actions prior to the game in Carolina led us to take this step,” Gutekunst said in a statement.
“As an organization, we have an expectation that everyone puts the team first. While we are disappointed, we had a good conversation with Jaire this morning and fully expect him to learn from this as we move forward together. We look forward to welcoming him back next week as he is a valued member of this team and will continue to be in the future.”
This has been an unusual season for the 26-year-old Alexander. Alexander missed three games earlier this season because of a back issue. The victory at Carolina marked Alexander’s return after he sat out six games with a shoulder problem, though he was never placed on injured reserve.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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