Corey Linsley exited last week’s game at the Detroit Lions after getting rolled up on a passing play midway through the second quarter, but his early departure may have been inevitable following a running play on the previous drive.
With 10:46 left in the second quarter, the Green Bay Packers center was driven back while blocking Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Running back James Starks “tripped” over Linsley’s sprained right ankle, falling for a 3-yard loss. Linsley was slow getting up after the play, and he limped back to the huddle.
Linsley, questionable on the injury report, said his ankle was “sore” entering last week’s game. Smacking it against Starks’ cleat didn’t help.
“It was actually an adjustment we made in the second half,” Linsley said. “That actually sprung some of those big runs, changing his course. I thought that was an awesome halftime adjustment that we made.”
Linsley, unable to practice Tuesday, said he has “no idea” what his status will be this week. His ankle is “feeling good,” but it will be evaluated daily through the week.
The Packers had all five offensive linemen on the injury report last week. Left tackle David Bakhtiari had to leave the game after reaggravating a knee injury, but he eventually returned.
At one point in Thursday’s second half, left guard Josh Sitton was the only starting offensive lineman on the field. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga and right guard T.J. Lang did not play because of knee injuries.
“It is what it is,” Linsley said. “Guys come in, and they play well. I thought Lane (Taylor), Donnie (Barclay) and JC (Tretter) all played well. Obviously, we won the game. So they did the job.”
It’s been a injury-plagued season for a Packers offensive line that started the final 16 games last year, counting playoffs. With the team getting three off days over the weekend, the group may be getting healthier. Linsley was the only offensive lineman who did not practice Tuesday.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said it’s important to get the offensive line healthy.
“I think if you just went through the injury report,” McCarthy said, “and you look at starts by the same offensive line, that equates to really good football. That’s been my experience. It’s important. We all understand the game starts up front, both offensively and defensively. As many games as those guys can play together, I think it really helps your success.
“The reality of it is, it’s a long year. We’ve had a break here, so I look for those guys to bounce back. I think our backup players did a good job.”