GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander wasn't expecting the one-game suspension that the team handed down last week, but he believes both sides might be in a better spot because of it.

Alexander, the NFL's highest-paid cornerback at $21 million a year, was suspended for last week's win at the Minnesota Vikings after he anointed himself a game captain against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 24 and nearly botched the pregame coin toss.

Matt LaFleur said that wasn't the only thing that led to the suspension in what has been an injury-filled campaign for the former All-Pro cornerback, but the Green Bay coach would not say whether Alexander had been fined previously for other missteps this season.

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"Yeah, I was surprised by the suspension," Alexander said Wednesday following his first practice back with the team. "I thought maybe I'd get fined."

Alexander insisted the suspension has not marred the relationship between the two sides.

"I think if anything, it improved it," Alexander said.

Alexander said the biggest thing he took away from the suspension was that there needs to be better communication between him and both the coaching staff and general manager Brian Gutekunst.

"Yeah, I think it was definitely something to learn from," Alexander said. "There's definitely things that I could have improved upon during that week to help with communication. Moving forward, that won't happen again."

LaFleur wouldn't say if Alexander will return to the starting lineup for Sunday's regular-season finale against the visiting Chicago Bears, a game the Packers have to win to make the playoffs.

"I'm not going to get into too many of the specifics; you guys will find out later in the week. But I will say that it was great to have him back," LaFleur said of Alexander. "We had a great conversation on Monday, and I think he's ready to go."

Alexander has battled back and shoulder problems that have limited him to six games this season.

The Packers also played last week without cornerback Eric Stokes, who was placed on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury. Instead, Green Bay started rookie Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine at cornerback against the Vikings.

Packers wide receiver Christian Watson could return this week after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury. He practiced Wednesday for the first time since he was injured.