Packers try rookie Bradford at inside linebacker

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Carl Bradford finally made the move to inside linebacker during a portion of practice Monday.

Green Bay Packers linebackers Carl Bradford, left, and Adrian Hubbard go through drills during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

The Green Bay Packers' fourth-round pick has been off to a quiet start in camp working strictly on the outside. During Monday morning meetings, linebackers coach Winston Moss told Bradford they were going to try him inside.

So Bradford took a couple snaps with the inside linebackers in the half-line drill days after the Packers took an extended look at the rookie in Friday's 31-21 preseason win over Oakland. He had a tackle in 44 snaps (24 defense, 20 special teams).

In the wake of Korey Jones' release and Brad Jones' quad injury, the Packers have only four healthy inside linebackers going into Thursday's preseason finale against Kansas City.

Six days away from final cuts, there's a good possibly Bradford could get worked at inside linebacker.

"Inside, I think there's a chance you'll see him play," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "This game is our last evaluation process, so he could get reps inside, outside, and see how he does."

Bradford, 22, was a difference-maker at Arizona State. He had 20 sacks his final two collegiate seasons rushing mainly as a defensive end.

He's a bit small for an outside linebacker at 6-foot-1, 252 pounds, but the Packers felt strongly his pass-rushing style would translate. The results have been mixed so far with Bradford being unable to make up any ground on returning outside linebackers Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer.

Undrafted rookie Jayrone Elliott has also come on. His four sacks are tied for the most in the NFL this preseason. His 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame and the film he's developed the past two weeks might make it hard to cut the Toledo rookie.

The Packers didn't draft any inside linebackers, but Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington seem to have a stronghold on the backup jobs behind A.J. Hawk and Jones, who'll miss Thursday's game with a quad injury.

"I liked it. I like coming downhill and opposing those tackles and guards and smashing those running backs," Bradford said.

The Packers started Lattimore out as an outside linebacker in 2011 before moving him inside the following year. A mainstay on special teams, Lattimore made four starts last season with 35 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

They could try a similar route with Bradford if it's not too late.

Bradford doesn't know where he'll line up against Kansas City and it truly doesn't matter. He understands he has one more preseason game to get noticed.

"That's out of my control," said Bradford of the upcoming cuts. "I just leave it in whoever's, God's hands. Whatever is meant to be, I'll deal with those hands. I don't worry about it. That'll slow me down if I focus on that mentally. I just go out there and play and perform."

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