The Packers spent an entire off-season preparing a college tackle how to play center as a professional. The plan was going swimmingly until J.C. Tretter yanked his knee Friday night against the Oakland Raiders. Head Coach Mike McCarthy called it a "significant" injury and it will keep the second year pro from Cornell out of action for several weeks, maybe two months. Now the Packers have less than two weeks to get fifth round draft pick Corey Linsley out of Ohio State ready to be the starting center, making his pro debut against the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks defense, one of the fiercest in the league. Linsley got his feet wet with the first team offense in shells on Sunday and was in full pads today. The crash course will continue in earnest Thursday night in the final Preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Linsley is expected to get a ton of reps, but not necessarily, maybe only a series with, his starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers gathered the weekly media crowd around his locker to talk about the injury to J.C., the thrusting of Corey into the lineup and how it can all come together in a matter of ten days.
Audio: Aaron Rodgers.
Garth Gerhart is working as the number two center now and even Josh Sitton delivered a couple of snaps in some drills today.
After missing all of training camp with a hamstring injury, seventh year veteran Letroy Guion, the former Minnesota Viking, finally got the all clear to practice today, came off the physically unable to perform list, put on the pads, and worked with his new team for the first time.
While some Guion might turn out to be the wreck of the 'ol 98, Letroy actually showed during the half line combo drill, knifing through a double team to drop the running back for a loss. He was on a very limited team rep count but was nimble in individual and group drills. Afterwards, Guion said it felt great to finally join his new team. He knows it might be a stretch to play Thursday night against the Chiefs but he hopes after a day off Tuesday, and another practice Wednesday, he can jump into the mix. He's needed on the interior of the defensive line with B.J. Raji out for the year with a torn biceps. The Packers have second year man Josh Boyd, draft choice Khyri Thornton and free agent Mike Pennel working on the nose.
To give you an idea how much, or make that how little the starters will play against the Chiefs, Aaron Rodgers got his work in today as the scout team quarterback, along with nearly the entire number one offense. In defensive team drills, most of the starters were getting snaps. Exact playing time will be determined by the coaches in a meeting after Wednesday's practice which will be the last chance railbirds get to watch.
In summarizing this year's camp, McCarthy said while we may not have improved every single day, there was improvement made every week. The installation process was never better, the adjustments made to the practice schedule, the new emphasis on nutrition left him feeling it was a very productive camp.