Rodgers on Linsley: 'We've taken snaps before'
Through all the injuries the Green Bay Packers seem to juggle each season, the expectation never changes.
One player goes down. His replacement picks up right where the starter left off. No excuses, no exceptions.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers expects nothing less from new starting center Corey Linsley, who will replace JC Tretter until the second-year "veteran" returns from a knee injury.
"It's going to be a sped up process obviously with Corey, getting him up to speed," Rodgers said.
Linsley's challenge is significant. The fifth-round pick from May's draft will be expected to help operate the Packers no-huddle offense at warp speed, just like a seasoned vet. At center, Linsley is responsible for communication along the offensive line. If something goes wrong, it'll be hard to hide.
Rodgers said he's confident Linsley will be able to keep up. While he transitions to the first team offensive line, Linsley will have multiple security blankets.
"The luxury of being center in this offense is you're playing with myself – I've been in this offense for 10 years now – and you're playing with two of the smartest guards, most athletic, talented guys in the league in Josh (Sitton) and T.J. (Lang)," Rodgers said. "Those guys are going to help him out with his calls and make sure the tempo is set the right way. I'm going to help out with the protection, and he's going to be ready to play."
The Packers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. The final preseason game would give Rodgers a chance to get game reps with Linsley before the Packers travel to the Seattle Seahawks for the NFL opener Sept. 4, but it's unlikely Rodgers will play Thursday.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said final decisions on playing time will be made after Wednesday's practice. Last week, before Tretter's injury, McCarthy said Rodgers would not play against the Chiefs.
Rodgers said Monday it's "not vitally important" to take snaps from Linsley during a game setting before the opener.
"We've done a lot in the walk-throughs and the pre-practice stuff with Corey taking reps for JC throughout training camp," Rodgers said. "We've taken snaps before. We've simulated noise with him. Obviously, it's different when you go into a situation like Seattle with the advantage they have. The stadium configuration and the fan support, to get that thing pumping with noise the way they do, it's going to be tough. But it would be tough whether it was JC or Corey, so we expect to be ready."
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