The Packers have much bigger problems than Jaire Alexander

The idea of NFL players being honorary captains in their hometowns is an intriguing one. It adds a personal touch to the game and allows the hometown heroes to receive some love from their people. However, it is not currently a standard procedure in the NFL.

Recently, Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander decided to walk out to midfield with the captains before the start of their Week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers. Alexander, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, also had the audacity to make the call on the coin toss. While it may have seemed presumptuous for a cornerback to take on such a role, Alexander called the toss correctly and won it.

However, Alexander’s victory was almost overshadowed by his confusion about what to say afterwards. In his post-game interview, he admitted that he had intended to say he wanted the defense to be out there, but ended up saying he wanted them to defer. This caused some confusion among his teammates and almost cost the Packers an offensive possession.

Fortunately, the referee clarified the situation and the Packers were able to defer the opening kickoff. If it had been interpreted that Alexander wanted his team to start the game with a kickoff, the Panthers could have chosen to receive the opening kick and get the ball again after halftime. The purpose of electing to defer is to give the winning team the choice of which end zone to defend and the choice to receive the ball at the beginning of the second half.

It is surprising that Alexander, who was a captain during his final season at Louisville in 2017, forgot the coin-toss protocol. However, his astonishment and the reactions of his teammates created a memorable moment that fans can enjoy recalling.

In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur decided to suspend Alexander for the team’s Week 17 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The reason given was “conduct detrimental to the team,” and LaFleur emphasized the importance of accountability for all players. This decision sparked criticism from Packers fans, who questioned why the team’s struggling defense coordinator, Joe Barry, wasn’t held to the same standards.

The Packers’ defense has been a disappointment this season despite having talented players like Rashan Gary. Fans believe that accountability should start with the coaching staff and have called for a change at the defensive coordinator position.

In their game against the Panthers, the Packers allowed 30 points without committing any turnovers. The Panthers, one of the worst offenses in the NFL, managed to tie the game despite being down 14 points with less than 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the Green Bay defense that allowed the Panthers to score 22 points in the second half.

LaFleur addressed the reason for Alexander’s suspension, stating that it was not a single incident but a culmination of factors. He denied that it had anything to do with Alexander’s previous injury that caused him to miss a significant amount of playing time. Additionally, LaFleur stated that the suspension was not related to Alexander taking on unassigned pregame duties.

While LaFleur does not owe the public a detailed explanation for his decision, fans are left to speculate about the motives behind suspending one of the team’s highest-paid defensive players. With the Packers still in contention for a playoff spot, the decision to make the team worse by sidelining Alexander raises questions.

As the Packers head into Week 17, the only objective truth is that they deemed it necessary to weaken their team. The outcome of their decision remains to be seen, but it has certainly sparked discussions among fans and analysts alike.

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