Packers: Eric Stokes has an opportunity to seize against the Bears

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The oldest rivalry in the NFL is set to renew this Sunday, as the Green Bay Packers will take on the Chicago Bears.

The two clubs will go at it for the 203rd time overall, and the first time this season. The Packers come into the game at 4-1 despite getting hit by the injury bug, and one of the areas they have been hit hard by injuries is the secondary.

Superstar CB Jaire Alexander suffered an injury a couple of weeks back and Kevin King has been on and off with injuries all year. This is where Eric Stokes comes in.

Stokes was the Packers’ first-round pick this past April and has shown quite a bit of promise so far. Stokes has been solid for the Green Bay Packers in 2021 but he will get a big test on Sunday

Eric Stokes will have a true test against the Bears

This Sunday, Stokes will be tasked with being the true number one CB on the field and will be lined up with stud WR Allen Robinson quite a bit. Stokes has been the starter for the last few weeks but this will be the first time that he will not have Alexander or King opposite of him.

So far this season, Stokes has looked quite good at times, while also looking like a rookie at other times. He has a Pro Football Focus grade of 54.8, which isn’t great but that doesn’t tell the full story.

Something I’ve been quite impressed with is how many times he’s been targeted. Per PFF, Stokes has been targeted a whopping 33 times this season, the sixth-most in the NFL. Of those 33 targets, Stokes has given up 18 catches, which puts him in the top 25 of all CBs who qualify.

Some, myself included, saw Stokes as a bit of a reach in the first round for the Packers but it’s clear they saw something in him. Standing at 6-1,185 pounds, Stokes has decent size for a CB. He also has phenomenal speed, running a sub-4.3 40, and is extremely physical. Many touted Stokes as one of the most physical DBs coming out of the draft as he likes to press at the line.

The Bears offense has found new life under new play-caller Bill Lazor, particularly in the run game. However, this Sunday the Bears will be without starting running back David Montgomery and backup Damien Williams.

I’d expect Chicago to finally let loose with rookie QB Justin Fields and to try to go after a banged-up Packers secondary. We’re still unsure of who will start opposite of Stokes but he will have his hands full with Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, who is also a home-run threat.

Next. 3 Bears who must be shut down on Sunday. dark

The rookie has been pretty solid so far but this Sunday will be his chance to truly put himself on the map as a legit CB in this league and to be a great piece of this Packers defense moving forward.