Possible Career-Ending Injury for 24-Year-Old Green Bay Packers Starter Ahead of Game Against Minnesota Vikings

The highly anticipated match between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings is set to take place on Sunday. This game holds immense significance for both teams, as the outcome will greatly impact their path to the playoffs. The victor will still have a solid chance of making it to the postseason, while the defeated team will need to shift their focus towards their draft position for the upcoming year.

Injuries have been a constant challenge for both teams throughout the season, and this week was no exception for the Packers. One particular 24-year-old star player has had his career’s future called into doubt due to his latest injury.

The image above showcases Green Bay Packers’ Eric Stokes in action against the Minnesota Vikings. Stokes has been making significant contributions to the team’s defensive efforts.

Green Bay Packers Starting Cornerback Eric Stokes Has His Career Come Into Question After Latest Injury Prior To Matchup Vs. The Minnesota VikingsDec 24, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) runs for yards after catch chased by Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes (21) and linebacker Isaiah McDuffie (58) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

In the latest news surrounding Stokes, Zachary Jacobson from Packers Report brings our attention to the following updates:

After just two games in which he played 110 defensive snaps, Eric Stokes is right back to square one.The Green Bay Packers added the third-year cornerback to their injury report on Saturday with another hamstring issue, declaring him out for Sunday night’s pivotal clash with the Minnesota Vikings. He wasn’t listed on their final injury report on Friday, so it’s likely that Stokes sustained the injury during Saturday’s walkthrough.It’s the latest obstruction in what has been a tumultuous and trying season for Stokes, whose rookie campaign in 2021 marked the last time he had performed at a starting-caliber level.Not only is this the third time he’s wounded his hamstring since training camp, but the devastating pair of injuries he endured last season in a Nov. 6 game against the Detroit Lions — Stokes missed the remainder of the regular season with a torn meniscus and Lisfranc injury — have prevented him from truly getting back to form.The first hamstring issue occurred during his ramp-up period in training camp, prompting the Packers to place him on the physically unable-to-perform list to begin the season. He returned for the Oct. 22 meeting with the Denver Broncos, but after just four snaps on special teams, he aggravated the injury and was sent to injured reserve.Stokes was activated on Dec. 16 — one day before he would play 76 percent of the defensive snaps against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What Is The Future Of Stokes?

Oct 23, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Cam Sims (89) runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes (21) chased during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Cam Sims (89) runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes (21) chased during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Stokes, a first-round pick, has only seen action in 28 games over his three seasons with the team. The Packers face a decision in the coming weeks as they must determine whether or not to exercise his fifth-year option, signaling their commitment to keeping him in the secondary for the long term.

Aaron Stokes’ repeated battles with injuries have raised concerns not only about his future with the Packers, but also about his prospects in the entire league. His consistent struggle with staying healthy has led to doubts about whether he will be able to make a return to the field. Stokes has endured numerous major injuries, including persistent hamstring issues that have plagued him.

In 2021, Stokes had an impressive rookie season, displaying his strong skills on the field. Due to injuries to Kevin King and Jaire Alexander, he was called upon to start earlier than anticipated. Despite this, Stokes performed exceptionally well in coverage and managed to break up an impressive 14 passes during his rookie year.

According to data from pro-football-reference.com, Stokes has proven to be a formidable force in coverage, with opposing quarterbacks only completing 49.5 percent of their passes when targeting receivers covered by him. Additionally, his presence has resulted in a low quarterback rating of just 71.3. However, Stokes has struggled with staying consistently healthy since his rookie season. As the off-season approaches, all eyes will be on Stokes as the team determines his future.

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