Linsley still fighting through hamstring injury

Bob McGinn
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley (63) during minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field.

GREEN BAY - Corey Linsley remains out indefinitely with a hamstring injury that has bothered him for about 2½ months.

Linsley, the Green Bay Packers’ starting center the past two seasons, first pulled the hamstring during the team’s off-season workouts in mid-May.

“Then I kind of had a minor setback trying to recover from that,” Linsley said Thursday. “We’re just making sure. Muscles are different than sprained ankles. I don’t want to blow out my hamstring.”

After playing every snap as a rookie, Linsley missed three full games and portions of two others last year with a sprained ankle.

Linsley said he would be trying to play if the Packers had a regular-season game Sunday. Last year, he probably came back too soon from the ankle injury, lasted 28 snaps in Detroit and had to sit out the next two games.

“Everybody in here plays if it’s not a debilitating injury,” he said. “That’s just the way this league works. I just have to be smarter with it.

“It’s more of a feel than anything. We’re doing everything we can to heal it right now. It’s day to day.”

Linsley suffered the injury running sprints. This week, he has been working out in the Hutson Center with the training staff during much of practice.

“Probably did too much, too soon,” he said. “I didn’t go down but it hurt.”

Linsley has a limited history with hamstring injuries. He once pulled his other hamstring but it healed quickly.

The injury has enabled JC Tretter to work with the No. 1 offense. He played 346 of his 448 snaps at center in 2015 for the injured Linsley.

“You battle for your position every day in this league,” said Linsley. “That’s just the nature of this game. JC’s a great player so I’ve got to battle every single day.

“I don’t want to say too much, but we’re very lucky. I think both of us are very talented players that are still improving. Just look at the film. I think we both have played some pretty good football here.”

After the Packers let center Evan Dietrich-Smith depart for Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014, Tretter assumed the starting job and held it until suffering a major knee/leg injury in the third exhibition game.

Linsley, who had not taken a single rep with the 1’s to that point, stepped in and went on to become the Packers’ first all-rookie team center.

In late May, offensive line coach James Campen said there was a distinct competition for the starting job.

“I think anybody in our building would tell you that (the Packers) view him (Tretter) as a starter,” coach Mike McCarthy said this week. “Corey Linsley has obviously been our starter, and there’s no reason for him not to be considered a starter.”

Correspondent Rob Reischel contributed to this story.

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