GREEN BAY – Despite the fact center Corey Linsley has not played a down of football this season, Green Bay Packers offensive line coach James Campen has no concerns about him holding up for an entire game Sunday.
Linsley, once activated from the physically unable to perform list, will start in place of injured JC Tretter against the Indianapolis Colts.
For the past three weeks, Linsley has been practicing but he missed most of the offseason workouts and all of training camp, not to mention the first six weeks of the season.
“I’m sure he’s done all the things that I don’t see behind doors and looks like he’s in good condition and those types of things,” Campen said. “But just speaking for having him on the practice field the last couple weeks, looks good and we’ll have little things here and there he needs to work on to get in rhythm with the rest of the guys.
“But he’s done well.”
Guard T.J. Lang wanted to get in some snaps with Linsley this week, which is why he practiced Thursday despite a hip injury. Linsley and Tretter are different type players and there will be an adjustment for the guard.
But Campen said it’s not much of one.
“It will come back so very quick,” Campen said. “Of course, you try to simulate everything as best you can in practice at game speed, but certainly a couple plays here and there and things will be fine.”
Follow the rules: Rookie wide receiver Trevor Davis ripped off a 55-yard punt return against the Atlanta Falcons, the longest return by the Packers since 2014.
To do so, Davis caught the punt in the middle of the field and took off to his right. One burst of speed, one broken tackle and one juke later, Davis set up the offense in prime position. He himself would cap the drive with his first-career touchdown reception.
Why did the return work? Davis followed the design of the play.
“It was designed that way,” special teams coordinator Ron Zook said. “There’s really only three things you can do: You can go right or left or go up the middle. That actually was designed to go to the right. The next one, when I wanted him to go to the right, he went to the left. He should have run to the right. So, you know, once again, that’s a learning part, as well.”
Dog pile: If you’ve watched the last four games, it’s no secret that fullback Aaron Ripkowski attracts a pile.
Ripkowski, a second-year player from Oklahoma, has carried the ball 12 times for 59 yards this season as the Packers search for answers at running back. He carried six times for 34 yards against Atlanta and continues to push the pile for extra yards on nearly every carry.
His trademark, at least so far, is requiring three or four or five defenders to bring him down. But sometimes there’s a risk of players pulling the ball out while he’s fighting for extra yardage.
“A lot of times if you watch a lot of those plays, you always see coming to the rescue is our offensive line,” running backs coach Ben Sirmans said. “So they’re going to make sure that a ball carrier isn’t in jeopardy from that standpoint.
“So I don’t worry about it as much as in terms if he was trying to fight for all those yards and he was all by himself.