Friday update: The Packers have officially activated Smith and Whitney Mercilus off injured reserve, and both are expected to take the field Saturday against the 49ers.
It's official. #Packers activate Za'Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus off of injured reserve.— MK Burgess (@MK_Burgess) January 21, 2022
Green and Gold defense gets a little scarier ahead of their divisional matchup with the Niners
Friday update: The Packers are expected to activate Smith off injured reserve, setting him up to play in Saturday’s divisional round game against the 49ers.
The Packers are expected to activate Pro Bowl pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith for Saturday’s playoff game against 49ers, per sources. Smith has been gearing up to be available for this game and the plan has been for him to play barring late change. First action since Week 1 for Smith— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 21, 2022
Thursday PM update: Both David Bakhtiari and Jaire Alexander are questionable to play this weekend, while Za’Darius Smith is on I.R. and will need to be activated on Saturday to play. Bakhtiari appears to be the most questionable of the group.
More injury updates from LaFleur:— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) January 20, 2022
Billy Turner: Good to go
Jaire Alexander: Questionable
Za'Darius Smith: Will activate him tomorrow if he's good to go
Wednesday AM update: Matt LaFleur spoke with 49ers media on Wednesday morning and did not sound an overly optimistic note when discussing Smith and Alexander. He said, “We will see where they are at and hopefully they can give us contributions.”
#Packers HC Matt LeFleur expects WR Randall Cobb to play on Saturday.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) January 19, 2022
David Bahktiari will practice today - “one day at a time.”
As far as CB Jaire Alexander and LB Za’Darius Smith:
“We will see where they are at and hopefully they can give us contributions” #SFvsGB
Tuesday update: Alexander was limited in Tuesday’s practice according to the team’s injury report.
The Green Bay Packers could benefit from the bye week in a big way as the No. 1 seed in the NFC, as the team could get both Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander back for the divisional round against the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Matt LaFleur is “hopeful” both will be out there Saturday. Smith and Alexander did take the practice field Tuesday.
#Packers HC Matt LaFleur says the team is "hopeful" that Za'Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander will play this weekend against the 49ers.— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) January 18, 2022
Fantasy football implications
The implications of Smith and Alexander playing will impact 49ers players. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk could see the team’s top corner, which would create a shuffling effect down the line for matchups. Smith’s presence would surely mean Jimmy Garoppolo has to deal with more pressure up front. The Packers have managed to hold things together defensively with solid players across the board but Smith and Alexander are both capable to wrecking a gameplan. If both are out there Saturday, Green Bay’s defense is a great DFS play.