The Green Bay Packers suspended cornerback Jaire Alexander for one game for conduct detrimental to the team, general manager Brian Gutekunst announced Wednesday.
The punishment is for crashing the coin toss prior to last Sunday’s matchup against the Carolina Panthers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“The decision to suspend a player is never easy and not one we take lightly. Unfortunately, Jaire’s actions prior to the game in Carolina led us to take this step,” Gutekunst said.
In what was his first game back from injury, Alexander uninvitingly joined the Packers’ captains for the coin toss. The cornerback correctly called tails, but he almost cost his team a possession by telling the official that Green Bay wanted to play defense instead of saying he wanted to defer. This would have allowed the Panthers the option of receiving the football to start the second half.
Alexander’s mistake ultimately proved not to be costly, but only because the official checked to be certain that he wanted to kick as opposed to deferring. Kicking, receiving, and deferring are the three official options for the team that wins the coin toss.
The cornerback was seemingly unaware of the issue postgame.
“I said, ‘I want our defense to be out there,’ and they all looked at me like I was crazy,” Alexander told reporters Sunday, including ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “I’m like, I mean it’s pretty simple what I said, like I want the defense to be out there. They like, ‘You mean defer?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess.'”
Alexander will miss Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings before returning for the regular-season finale versus the Chicago Bears.