Packers: Christian Kirksey will reportedly miss at least one game, maybe more

Green Bay could be without its leading tackler for at least one game and maybe more.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported linebacker Christian Kirksey will miss next Monday night’s game against Atlanta and his status for after the Week 5 bye is up in the air.

Kirksey left the win at New Orleans in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. He collected a team-high 27 tackles in the first three weeks. Outside linebacker Rashan Gary also left, doing so with an ankle injury in the second half.

“We’re still in the evaluation process with those guys,” coach Matt LaFleur said Monday. “Certainly they are a big part of our defense, so we’d like to get them back sooner rather than later.”

Kirskey was replaced by Ty Summers, who ended up leading the team with nine tackles. Summers also took over the play calling duties from Kirksey and wore the communication helmet. It was the first time he’d done either in a regular season game.

“I thought the communication was really good. He did a great job of relaying the call to the other 10 guys on the field and helping guys get adjusted. I thought that was really good,” LaFleur said. “He made some really good plays. Then, like every player, there’s a couple plays here and there that you’ve got to get cleaned up. Those are things we’ll address when we see him (Tuesday).”

But did he do enough to cover for as long as Kirksey is out?

“That’s something we’ll evaluate as we go through, but there were a lot of good things that Ty did,” LaFleur said. “Hopefully he can build upon this performance that he put together (Sunday).”

A free agent addition this past offseason, Kirksey did have a significant injury history while with the Cleveland Browns. A thigh injury cost him the last two months of the 2018 season and a torn pectoral muscle ended his 2019 campaign in September.

Kenny Clark close?

Pro Bowl nose tackle Kenny Clark was 50-50 to play Sunday night against the Saints, but it was a small surprise that he ended up not doing so. After missing the Detroit game with a groin injury, Clark practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday and was listed as questionable for the game. The Packers ultimately decided to hold him out.

“We want to be mindful that this is a long season,” LaFleur said. “He did everything in his power to come back. We’ve got to make sure that he can go and is not at further risk of prolonging that injury. When we feel that time is right, that’s when we’ll cut him loose.”