Notebook: Linsley ready to start if needed

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

GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley declared himself ready to play again and it’s possible his services will be needed right away.

Linsley, on the physically unable to perform list due to a hamstring injury, has been practicing for two weeks and is eligible to come off the list at any time.

It didn’t seem like a lock Linsley would be activated, but center JC Tretter suffered what the Packers said after the 33-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was a knee injury.

Tretter, who finished the game, could not walk on his own afterward and needed help getting to the locker room. The team did not say anything about the severity of the injury and coach Mike McCarthy didn’t address it Monday in his news conference.

The injury may have occurred on the second-to-last play of the game. Tretter was pass blocking when guard T.J. Lang and tackle Bryan Bulaga drove defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn into the side of Tretter’s right knee, causing him to tumble.

Tretter was slow getting up, but he managed to deliver the final snap to quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the next play. He was able to slide step to the left, but his assignment was fairly easy and he didn’t have to engage in a difficult block as Rodgers rolled to the right.

Linsley indicated three weeks ago that he was healthy and that sitting out training camp and the first six weeks of the regular season was more than enough time for his hamstring to heal. As much as he would have liked to have kept his starting job, he said it probably was smart to give the injury three months to heal.

“It’s good,” Linsley said. “I feel good, healthy. No setbacks. I think we took the conservative approach, but it all worked out in the end. I’m thankful they took that route.”

Linsley, who took over the starting job as a rookie after Tretter suffered a knee injury during training camp, could regain his job this week. If Tretter is out for any significant amount of time or even can’t play this week, the Packers will have no choice but to activate Linsley.

Asked if his hamstring had been tested enough for him to be able to play Sunday against Indianapolis, he said:

“Oh yeah, I’ve been practicing full in pads, nothing. It’s good.”

Kuhn Jr.: Part of the reason general manager Ted Thompson might have felt comfortable getting rid of Davis was the performance of fullback Aaron Ripkowski.

The second-year pro, who was an apprentice to veteran John Kuhn last year, was the team’s most effective runner against the Falcons, gaining 34 yards on six carries. For the season, he has 12 carries for 59 yards, a 4.92 average.

“You go back and look at some of the positives coming out of the game and he did a really nice job running the football, broke some tackles, finished moving forward, played with really good pad level,” Bennett said. “And then you look at our offensive line, the way they covered the football and pushed the pile and finished.

“Those are a lot of positives we can build on.”

Bennett said the staff was still waiting to see who would be available before settling on how they would use their backs this week.

No mea culpa: No one would identify who was responsible for giving up the game-winning touchdown pass the Falcons’ Matt Ryan threw to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds left in the game.

McCarthy said he wasn’t going to blame it on a single player, but admitted a mistake was made.

“There’s adjustments in each and every coverage and in particular on alignments and so forth,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never corrected players here in the media. We looked at this morning. We’ll go through it thoroughly.”

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers described it as a zone coverage and also wouldn’t identify what went wrong. He did not say he regretted the call, which left linebacker Jake Ryan trying to cover Sanu.

Hypothetical kick: Judging from special teams coach Ron Zook’s estimation of the furthest distance kicker Mason Crosby might have been able to make a game-winning field goal, the Packers needed to go about 33 yards to give Crosby a chance.

“Had we got in that position, he felt pretty good,” Zook said. “He was stroking the ball pretty well yesterday. Once again, it’s perfect conditions. I’d say he could’ve pushed the 60 limit if the opportunity would have arose to try it.”

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