Packers v. Chargers Final Injury Report: Rashan Gary Questionable

Sep 24, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Following Friday’s practice before the Green Bay Packers take on the Los Angeles Chargers at home on Sunday, Matt LaFleur announced the final injury report ahead of the matchup. Here is what you need to know.

Packers injury designations

Jaire Alexander (shoulder): Questionable

Quay Walker (groin): Questionable

Rashan Gary (shoulder): Questionable

Rudy Ford (shoulder): Doubtful

After not even being on the injury report earlier in the week, Rashan Gary is listed as questionable. LaFleur said there was a “mishap” during Friday’s practice. He added that he does not expect the injury to be long-term, but Gary’s status for Sunday is now up in the air.

Getting after Justin Herbert is going to be a must for the Packers defense and even that won’t guarantee success, considering the caliber of player that he is—although Los Angeles’ offensive tackles both rank in the top 20 in terms of most pressures allowed. With that said, failing to create pressure could be disastrous for a potentially short-handed Green Bay secondary.

Jaire Alexander would miss Wednesday’s practice but returned on Thursday and Friday in a limited capacity. LaFleur said that he “looked good” on Friday in his limited basis. Of course, you always want your All-Pro cornerback available, but having Alexander feels particularly important this week, going up against a high-scoring Chargers offense that features Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen and wants to push the ball through the air.

"”Him at 80 percent is better than most at 100 percent,” said LaFleur. “We will see where he’s at on Sunday and if he’s good we’d love to have him out there, that’s for sure. He makes us a better team, there’s no question about it.”"

Without Alexander, Green Bay will have to rely on Corey Ballentine on the boundary again this week. Ballentine held his own in Pittsburgh, but the Chargers passing game presents a much greater challenge. Backup cornerbacks include the recently claimed Kyu Blu Kelly and Robert Rochell.

"“Corey Ballentine had a couple PBUs,” said LaFleur on Monday. “They went at him twice in a row on a second-and-10 and then a third-and-10. He made the play. He made the play right in the two minute as well when he was bumped up into the boundary, made a tough contested play. All-in-all, I thought they did a nice job.”"

After missing the last two games with a groin injury, Quay Walker appears to be trending in the right direction having practiced all three days this week. Like Alexander, Walker’s presence would be a welcomed sight for this defense.

"“We need somebody that is going to come out there and cause some turnover opportunities for us,” said LaFleur when asked about Walker potentially returning. “He’s shown that he’s capable of doing that. Hopefully, his physicality, his mindset that he brings, he does a great job of punching at the football. We just need more of that defensively and on all of our coverage units.”"

There’s the obvious help that he can provide in the run game and as a tackler overall, but Herbert targets Allen heavily on the short to intermediate routes while running back Austin Ekeler has been one of the most efficient at his position in the passing game. The Green Bay linebackers are going to have to play a key role in limiting yards after the catch and muddying things up over the middle.

For the second time in three games, it would appear that the Packers will be without Rudy Ford on the back-end after he did not practice at all this week with a shoulder injury. In his place will be rookie Anthony Johnson making his second start of his career. Johnson made one tackle and came away with an interception and a pass breakup against the Los Angeles Rams.

"“He did a great job,” said Matt LaFleur on Thursday when asked about Johnson’s play against the Rams. “He had a huge takeaway on the tipped pass. I thought he played at a really high level. I think he’s a good young player that the more experience he gets the better he shows.”"

Reading your keys and trusting your eyes are always going to be two important elements of playing safety in the NFL. However, that will be particularly important for Green Bay against Los Angeles, specifically knowing when to trigger downhill on a shorter throw or running play versus when to stay deep in an effort to limit the downfield passing play.

Herbert enters Week 11 ranked fifth in pass attempts of 20-plus yards this season, but in general, does a very good job of targeting all parts of the field.

"“That’s the challenge,” said LaFleur about defending both the run and the pass. “I think any time somebody is as explosive as they are, especially in the pass game, you’re going to have to play some split-safety and you’re going to have to do a great job. That is a challenge.”"