The Green Bay Packers really hit a home run with 2021 first round pick Eric Stokes when they first drafted him. Stokes played in all 16 games, started 14 of them, and ended his rookie season with 14 deflected passes, an interception, and held opposing quarterbacks to a 49.5% completion percentage and 71.3 passer rating when targeting him.
Unfortunately, Stokes got off to a rough start in 2022, a season he would not finish due to a horrendous ankle injury in Week Six against the Detroit Lions. From the sounds of it, he will not be on the field for the beginning of the 2023 season either.
Green Bay Packers Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry Does Not Have Good News about Eric Stokes
According to The Athletic‘s Matt Schneidman, this is what Joe Barry had to say when asked about Stokes:
“Eric had a pretty substantial injury. He’s on the road to recovery. He’s been in the building every single day. It’s great to just see him walking around and being here. Next time I talk to you, hopefully I’ll have a little bit more to report on, but we’ll see where he goes day to day.
“On Monday when we start OTAs, with Eric not even being able to practice, we feel like we’ve got two pretty good outside corners in Ja and Rasul, and then Keisean — he played about 400 snaps for us last year on defense, predominantly at the nickel corner spot — so when we break the huddle Monday, he’ll be there.”
It certainly does not sound like the Packers are planning on Stokes being ready for Week One. If they were, he would almost surely be considered one of their starting outside cornerbacks.
Fortunately, the cornerback position is one in which the Packers do have some depth. All-Pro kick returner Keisean Nixon is going to get more snaps on defense, especially from the nickel. Hopefully, though, Stokes will be able to recover and get back on the field before too long.
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