Jaire Alexander is excited to return and ready to move

Jaire Alexander is excited to return and ready to move on with the Packers – Packers.com

GREEN BAY – Jaire Alexander was back on the practice field Wednesday as the Packers began preparations for a crucial regular-season finale this Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

The two-time All-Pro missed last week's 33-10 win over Minnesota while serving a team-imposed suspension, but confirmed that he has had productive meetings with head coach Matt LaFleur and general manager Brian since the penalty was imposed on December 27 Gutekunst had.

Alexander believes the suspension and subsequent discussions will help improve communication between him and the organization in the long term. The 26-year-old cornerback added that he is “very grateful to be here” and hopes to remain with the team next season.

“I think it was definitely something to learn from,” Alexander said after practice. “There are definitely things I could have improved on this (Carolina) week to make communication easier. That won’t happen again in the future.”

Although Alexander was unable to be with the team last week, he continued to train and prepare on his own. He also agreed that this is the best feeling he has had in a long time after missing a total of 10 games due to back and shoulder injuries.

Further evidence of this was the fact that Green Bay listed Alexander as a full practice participant for the first time since he first injured his back in practice the last week of September.

Before the suspension, the 5-foot-10, 196-pound cornerback returned from a six-game layoff for the Packers' Week 16 game against Carolina and played all 66 defensive snaps in a 33-30 win.

Alexander said he got through his return game against Carolina “pretty much” without any setbacks with his shoulder and expects “it should be good enough” to play in Sunday's win-and-go matchup against the Bears.

The Packers are excited to have the sixth-year veteran back. Already in the publication in which the suspension was announced, Gutekunst reiterated that Alexander “is a valued member of this team and will remain so in the future.”

“It was great to have him back,” LaFleur said after practice Wednesday. “We had a great conversation on Monday and I think he’s ready to go.”

Alexander admits it was difficult watching from afar last week, but sent encouraging text messages to his teammates. He was also proud of how Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine stepped up in a stingy defensive performance against All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson and Co.

Alexander now looks forward to a challenging matchup with a growing Bears offense led by third-year quarterback Justin Fields and dynamic receiver DJ Moore, who leads Chicago with 92 catches for 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

A win over the Bears would catapult the Packers back into the postseason for the fourth time during Alexander's tenure in Green Bay. It would also be the perfect ending for a more mature football team.

“It would be pretty cool, very, very deserving of the season we had,” Alexander said. “That would top it all off.”

Back in the dressing room, Alexander doesn't think his role is changing that much. As one of the most experienced players on the entire roster, Alexander still expects to “be the leader that I was and make plays that suit me.”

Alexander was surprised by the suspension but doesn't believe it will negatively impact his relationship with LaFleur, Gutekunst or the Packers organization. Ultimately, he felt that it was good for “both parties to hear both sides” after getting “to the point” in these honest, straightforward conversations.

“We all agreed that we were on the same page as we continued to communicate,” Alexander said. “It doesn’t affect my relationship with anyone. I think if anything it improved them.”