GREEN BAY – Kevin King was still wearing the aftereffects on Monday afternoon of taking a cleat to the face in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ 31-23 loss to the Detroit Lions.
The second-year cornerback got his face stepped on with roughly nine minutes remaining in Sunday’s game when King and Blake Martinez combined to stop Golden Tate for no gain.
King was hauled to the locker room where he received stitches in his chin.
“I’m all right. A little numb,” said King, whose bottom lip was swollen. “He stepped on my whole face. I’m having trouble talking just because I’ve got a busted lip and the chin stuff.”
King, who missed two games last month with a groin injury, said he had no setbacks in his return and fully intends to play against the San Francisco 49ers this upcoming Monday night.
His reappearance in the defensive starting lineup couldn’t have come with better timing since the Packers were without rookie first-round pick Jaire Alexander (groin), Bashaud Breeland (hamstring) and safety Jermaine Whitehead (back).
While King kept things quiet on his side of the secondary on defense, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound cornerback committed a regrettable penalty on special teams and was involved in one of the more controversial moments of the game on the opening punt.
Engaged with a block from Lions safety Charles Washington, a Sam Martin punt landed within feet of them. Packers punt returner Tramon Williams said officials originally told team it hit Detroit first, but then they ruled it was Detroit’s ball, saying it touched King first.
The play was subject to review since it was a turnover, but there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call. King maintains the ball did not touch him.
“It didn’t hit me,” King said. “When I was out there on the field, I was actually like, I (looked up) and (saw) it actually hit him. The thing is, if you see my reaction, if it would’ve hit me, I would’ve turned around and tried to get it. I just ran off the field. I thought they were celebrating because they downed it at the 1. I didn’t even know that’s what they were cheering about until, like, the replay. No, it didn’t hit me, though.”
Entering the year as Green Bay’s top cornerback, King has nine tackles in three starts this season. With his chin healing up, he’s eager to get back on the field against the 49ers.
While his first round of stitches resulted in him having to get carted to the locker room, King maintains he could have returned if there was more time left in the game.
“I was kind of skeptical about it at first. I’m like, ‘Can we just run over there?’” King said. “They were like, it’s only five minutes left. We were on the other side of the field. So drove us over there, got it stitched up. Actually never had stitches before. That was new, a new opportunity, I guess. Or a new experience.”