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Packers' Jaire Alexander and Quay Walker doubtful for Sunday's game with Steelers

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) celebrates after a stop on third down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander and linebacker Quay Walker are doubtful for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.

Alexander missed three games earlier this season with a back injury, but it's a shoulder issue that has prevented him from practicing the last three days. Walker is dealing with a groin injury that likely will cause him to miss a second straight game.

When he’s healthy, Alexander is one of the Packers’ top overall players. He was a second-team selection in last season’s All-Pro balloting.

“He’s one of the best in the business,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “Anytime you don’t have him, it doesn’t necessarily help your team. But we got confidence in the other guys. The other guys have been working hard and it’s an opportunity for somebody else to step up and that’s what we expect.”

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Green Bay’s secondary already is playing without cornerback Eric Stokes (hamstring) and safety Darnell Savage (calf), who are both on injured reserve and must miss at least two more games. Safety Rudy Ford is questionable with a calf injury that kept him from playing against the Rams.

Other Packers questionable for Sunday’s game with the Steelers (5-3) include defensive lineman Kenny Clark (shoulder), center Josh Myers (knee), offensive guard Jon Runyan Jr. (neck) and offensive tackle Yosh Nijman (back). Clark, Ford, Myers, Runyan and Nijman all practiced on a limited basis Friday.

The Packers (3-5) defeated the Rams 20-3 on Sunday while relying on a starting secondary that featured two rookie seventh-round picks working alongside Alexander, cornerback Keisean Nixon and safety Jonathan Owens. Cornerback Carrington Valentine was taken 232nd overall out of Kentucky. Johnson, who played at Iowa State, went 242nd overall.

The two rookies played well enough to keep the Rams out of the end zone all day, as Johnson got his first career interception and Valentine had three passes defensed.

If Alexander can’t play Sunday, the Packers also may need to give some opportunities to reserve cornerback Corey Ballentine, who has appeared in five games and was signed to the active roster off the practice squad on Oct. 25. The Packers also have Robert Rochell, who was signed off the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad on Oct. 25.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL