Cornerback Depth Will Be Put To The Test Against Packers

The Vikings' health in the secondary is perhaps the biggest question mark of this week.

It's hard to beat the Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

It's even harder to do if you have injuries on defense, especially in the secondary. Unfortunately, Mike Zimmer and the Vikings may be forced to face that very challenge this weekend.

Talented fourth-year nickel corner Mackensie Alexander dislocated his elbow against the Falcons in Week 1, and initial expectations were that he'd be out around a month. That may not be the case; Alexander doesn't need surgery on his elbow and Zimmer didn't give a timetable for his return.

Still, it seems unlikely that Alexander would be able to play this weekend, so soon after an extremely painful injury.

Another corner whose status for this weekend remains up in the air is second-year stud Mike Hughes, who is working his way back from an ACL injury suffered last season. Hughes has yet to go through a full practice this season, but Zimmer said there's a chance he could play against the Packers.

The most likely scenario seems to be that neither Alexander nor Hughes will be quite ready to return this weekend. That would mean the Vikings would be forced to turn to 6-foot-4, 205-pound safety Jayron Kearse at slot corner against Rodgers.

As a "big nickel," Kearse's size and physicality would present a different look for the Packers' offense, but he would be at risk of being beaten out of breaks by smaller, quicker receivers. It could be an advantage for the Vikings at times and it could be something Rodgers would be able to exploit at others.

In any event, the health of Alexander and Hughes and the ability of Kearse to adjust to a new position is one of the biggest storylines to follow heading into a huge NFC North showdown this Sunday.

Update: Alexander did not practice on Thursday and Hughes was limited. The Vikings activated UDFA rookie CB Nate Meadors from the practice squad.

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