Packers CB Eric Stokes Makes Revelation About Impending Return

Returning Packers cornerback Eric Stokes

Getty Returning Packers cornerback Eric Stokes

It will not be the return that changes the trajectory of the season altogether, but we are finally on the doorstep of the Packers’ return of Eric Stokes in the upcoming Week 7 game against Denver.

Stokes, a third-year cornerback, has not played since Week 9 of last season, when he tore the MCL in his knee and suffered a Lisfranc injury on the same play in Detroit. He is, naturally, excited about the prospect of being back on an NFL field — though he said he will be on a “pitch count.”

“It’s getting real close,” he said during an appearance on “Clubhouse Live” this week. “There’s been little ups and downs, there’s been hiccups in the road but just day-by-day, but I a getting closer. I miss being out there with them boys, doing indy, competitive drills, all that stuff. I ain’t competed in 11 months so, I miss everything.”

Stokes, the Packers’ first-round pick in 2021, started 14 games as a rookie and all nine games prior to his injury last year. What remains to be seen is what, exactly, his role will be when he returns. He did make a revelation about his playing time during his live appearance—when he does play, he will do so on a “snap count, limited” basis, he said.

Eric Stokes’ Packers Return Creates a DB Crowd

Indeed, the Packers’ defensive backs room is a crowded one now that Stokes is back. He is best suited to play outside corner, but Jaire Alexander is obviously not going anywhere, and on the opposite side, Rasul Douglas is entrenched, too. Should the Packers move Douglas to the slot? Should Stokes play the slot?

What about Kisean Nixon? Should he lose his current spot as the slot corner with Stokes back?

For now, Stokes is not concerned about that. He can’t play that many downs yet, anyway.

“Just come as it goes,” he said. “I am going to go in there and slowly be back in there, slowly get into the rotation. Be on a snap count, limited, and all that stuff. But we are just going to start building, building, building, and building. And wherever I fit is wherever I fit. There’s no rush. I am just trying to be back with the guys, just trying to be back out there. At the end of the day, I miss going to work for them, I miss that energy, I miss that feeling.”

Foot Issue Was Hardest Part of Eric Stokes’ Return

For Eric Stokes, his return to the Packers has been part of a very, very long and fraught road. He was asked about coming back from both injuries simultaneously, and said it was the foot problem that was most difficult.

“Easily the foot,” he said. “The foot, I was in a boot for 10 weeks. I couldn’t even walk for 10 weeks. For the first week, I was on crutches and all that, and then after that, I had to walk around in the boot for another five weeks, so the foot was a different thing.”

He said that it helped to have linebacker Rashan Gary going through rehab alongside him, and the two grew close as they fought back onto the field. Gary, who tore his ACL in the same game in Detroit, returned to the field for Week 1 but was on a limited snap count, too.

“Me and RG, we was locked in,” Stokes said. “From the moment we got hurt, we got hurt the same day and all this stuff. So, like since then, we been going through rehab together, we been doing everything together. We done came up with handshakes and all. Me and RG got real, real tight since his injury.”

Now that Stokes is ready for his Packers return, he has thrown aside anything that reminds him of the injuries.

“I did a whole new change of scenery,” he said. “So like my crib here, I changed up everything. Everything else gives me old crutches, wheelchair, boot vibes. So I had to switch all that up, change up my whole vibe.”

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