The Green Bay Packers are headed into a somewhat uncertain 2023 season. For the first time in 31 years someone not named Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers will be under center for week one. The Jordan Love era is fully underway, and he seems to be taking advantage of the opportunity. Another aspect of the Packers being successful in 2023 is the progress of the defense, specifically the secondary. A recent report indicates that the Green Bay Packers are expected to extend one starter beyond the 2023 season.
Green Bay Packers Expected To Extend Starting Cornerback Eric Stokes
According to Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated:
Stokes had an excellent rookie season for the Packers, and he was on his way to another quality campaign last year before a season-ending ankle injury in November. Paired with Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas, Green Bay has terrific corners to build its defense around. It would be an upset if Stokes stays healthy in 2023 and doesn’t see his option picked up.
Of course health will be the biggest factor when it comes to Stokes and his contract. He had a stellar rookie campaign in 2021, however, he has struggled at times since. Wisconsin Sports Co-Owner Robin Adams released this report about the current status of Eric Stokes:
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.
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.
I highly doubt that Eric Stokes missing the start of the season would have a major impact on him getting extended. It will certainly be how he finishes the year (both health wise and play wise). Now, if his injury forces him to miss more than half of the 2023 season, we could have a different story on our hands.
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