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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

Packers suspend Jaire Alexander over coin toss antics

Jaire Alexander before a game

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) walks off the field during training camp on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Ray Nitschke Field in Ashwaubenon, Wis. Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander pulled a stunt prior to Sunday’s game that has led to him being suspended.

Alexander returned to the field in Week 16 after missing six games with a shoulder injury. Despite not being a team captain, the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback ran out to midfield prior to the coin toss and called tails, according to several reporters who were in attendance. The Packers won the toss, but Alexander nearly made a critical mistake.

When referee Alex Kemp asked Alexander what the Packers wanted to do, Alexander said his team wanted to start on defense. Kemp was kind enough to let Alexander clarify, which saved Green Bay from potentially choosing to kick in the first half and then having the Panthers choose to receive in the second half. Thanks to Kemp, Green Bay deferred their decision.

On Wednesday, the Packers announced that Alexander has been suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team. General manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed in a statement that the coin toss antics led to the disciplinary action.

“The decision to suspend a player is never easy and not one we take lightly,” Gutekunst said. “Unfortunately, Jaire’s actions prior to the game in Carolina led us to take this step. As an organization, we have an expectation that everyone puts the team first. While we are disappointed, we had a good conversation with Jaire this morning and fully expect him to learn from this as we move forward together. We look forward to welcoming him back next week as he is a valued member of this team and will continue to be in the future.”

The Packers rotate captains every week, but Alexander was not one of the team’s three captains for Week 16.

Alexander expressed no regrets after Green Bay escaped with a 33-30 win over the Panthers. He told reporters it was “only suiting” that he made himself a team captain because he is from the Charlotte area, which he did not think head coach Matt LaFleur realized. He also didn’t seem to understand that he nearly botched the coin toss call by not deferring.

“I said I want our defense to be out there, and they all looked at me like I was crazy. I’m like, I mean, it’s pretty simple what I said — I want the defense to be out there,” Alexander told reporters. “They like, ‘You mean deferred?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess.'”

Green Bay’s three captains for Week 16 were Aaron Jones, Quay Walker and Eric Wilson. LaFleur confirmed after the game that Alexander made the decision by himself to join his teammates at midfield and call the toss.

Alexander has been very outspoken all season. He also made a very bold guarantee about the remainder of the season earlier this month.

The Packers are 7-8 and still have an outside chance at making the playoffs, but they will need to win their remaining two games and get some help. They will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings on Sunday night without one of their best defensive players.

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