GREEN BAY – It wasn’t Kevin King’s choice to be on the sideline during the Packers’ 22-0 shutout victory over Buffalo, but the second-year cornerback couldn’t argue with the view.
The Bills were held to only 145 total yards of offense in Green Bay’s most dominant defensive performance in nearly a decade. Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen was sacked seven times, while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Jaire Alexander each had an interception.
“I thought it was one hell of a show, one hell of a show,” King said. “I had to have my coach’s hat on. It was killing me not to be out there, but watching those guys is fun.”
King missed his second consecutive game Sunday due to the groin injury he sustained against Minnesota in Week 2. King was looking the part of a No. 1 boundary cornerback at the time of his injury, running stride for stride with Stefon Diggs in the first half against the Vikings.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound cornerback took a major step towards getting back when he practiced in a limited capacity last week before returning to full participation on Wednesday.
When asked after practice Wednesday about a possible return this Sunday against the Detroit Lions, King said he feels “ready going forward.”
“Feels good just being out there and getting my feet up under me,” King said. “Get some guys in front of me running some routes. I feel good.”
The Packers received more good news with Alexander suiting up for practice in a limited capacity Wednesday. Green Bay’s rookie first-round pick recorded his first official NFL interception before leaving with a groin injury in Sunday’s win over the Bills.
A full arsenal of cornerbacks would be ideal for a Green Bay secondary that’ll need to combat Matthew Stafford and a Lions passing game featuring Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay.
That trio has caught nearly 80 percent of Stafford’s total passing yards through the first four games (952 of 1,202) and is responsible for all eight of the Lions’ passing touchdowns.
Tate is ninth in the NFL in receiving yards (389), while Jones Jr. has caught 25 passes for 507 yards (20.2 yards per catch) with six touchdowns in five meetings against the Packers.
“All good guys. All capable of making the big play,” King said. “We have to be really stout on the outside and take care of the vertical shots like they ask us to do every week. That’s pretty much the theme in this league is taking care of the vertical shots. We’re going to do our part. We’re going to get it done.”
King, still only 23, handled several tough assignments during his rookie year. He covered the likes of Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Dez Bryant in nine games prior to undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.
The Packers are confident that experience will take the former second-round pick far in Year 2. With a unique blend of speed and size, King has all the tools NFL teams covet in a shutdown cornerback capable of following star receivers all over the field.
“We all know the potential he has,” defensive tackle Kenny Clark said. “He presents a different matchup for them to figure out. He’s a long corner. He does his job really well. He’s a good player.”
The Packers feel good about the state of their secondary with veteran Tramon Williams still playing well at 35, and Alexander and fellow rookie Josh Jackson making their presence felt early on.
Although Davon House was placed on injured reserve last week with a shoulder injury, General Manager Brian Gutekunst acted quickly in signing veteran Bashaud Breeland as a versatile and experienced option in the secondary.
Coming off one of the defense’s top performances during Mike McCarthy’s tenure as head coach, King hopes his return will only help the Packers’ secondary solidify itself entering the second quarter of the regular season.
“I know that when I get back out there, those guys are still going to be out there and it’s going to be even more fun,” King said. “It’s a contagious group. Everybody has come in and done their part. We just have to keep building off it, but I think we’re going to be pretty special coming up.”