England go into Wednesday's friendly with Holland without a permanent manager and skipper following Fabio Capello's resignation and the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the armband.
Stuart Pearce takes charge of Tuesday's match and Downing feels he could do worse than hand the captaincy to Gerrard.
"He's captained Liverpool for many years and done very well and if picked for England would do that job well," the winger said at a press conference.
"He's a big player for Liverpool and England, has a great influence on England and drives teams on so if he is given the captaincy then great."
Downing, who was man of the match when Liverpool won the Carling Cup on Sunday, also hopes club captain Gerrard does not choose to end his international career after Euro 2012.
"He certainly has (a lot to offer)," he said. "I've not spoken to Steven about if he will retire after the tournament. I'll be selfish and hope he stays on."
Walker's absence, which Tottenham have now confirmed is due to an ankle injury, increases the likelihood of Micah Richards returning to the England team after the Manchester City man was largely overlooked during Fabio Capello's reign.
More remarkably, Pearce has opted not to call up any replacements, even though his striking options have been depleted by the withdrawals of Darren Bent and Wayne Rooney.
Although both Ashley Young and Steven Gerrard have operated just behind a main striker in the past, the three forwards who remain - Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Frazier Campbell - only have four caps between them.