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Packers CB Eric Stokes feels ‘faster than before’ after figuring out injury problems

Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes said a trip to UW-Madison helped him figure out why his 2022 foot injury was to blame for the recurrent hamstring injuries that wrecked his 2023 season.

To remedy, Stokes said he’s doing strengthening exercises in his calves and hamstrings to protect his lower body from injury in 2024. The result? A fully healthy offseason, and the potential for even more speed this season.

“I feel like I’m faster than before,” Stokes said Wednesday. “I feel great. Had a great offseason…this is the best I’ve felt since coming out (of the draft).”

Stokes, a 2021 first-round pick, suffered a major foot injury in November of 2022 and missed the rest of the season. He needed surgery and was in a walking boot for months. After traveling to Madison, Stokes learned a lack of strength in the supporting areas of his leg — specifically in his calf and hamstring — contributed directly to multiple lower body injuries in 2023.

“My foot wasn’t as strong as it needed to be, so it put my pressure on my hamstring and my calf,” Stokes said. “We trained hard…we were attacking my legs. Day in and day out. Now I come back, and I feel even better.”

Stokes had multiple hamstring injuries and ended up playing in only three games in 2023. He’s now doing muscle-specific strength training to make sure the pressure is off his foot.

Healthy and growing in confidence after going through two adversity-filled seasons, Stokes is having fun and bursting with personality again.

“I haven’t had this much fun since my rookie year,” Stokes said.

Coach Matt LaFleur can see it on the field during the offseason workout program.

“I think he’s as good as I’ve ever seen him. Both mentally, and on the field,” LaFleur said. “He looks fully healthy. He’s doing a great job challenging our receivers. He’s always in phase, and I think you can see the personality coming back…he’s had a chance to really develop his body, and he looks in great shape. The play says the same.”

Here more from Stokes below:

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire