GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers activated center Corey Linsley from injured reserve in time for Sunday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
Linsley suffered an injured MCL during the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 29. Showing his toughness and resolve, he was out of action for just three games.
“Corey’s been getting through practice pretty good, so we’re still going to give it the week to see where he’s at, but he’s looked good in the limited action he’s been in there,” coach Matt LaFleur said after Thursday’s practice.
On Saturday, the Packers added him to the injury report but without an injury designation.
Presumably, the Packers will go back to their standard offensive line of left tackle David Bakhtiari, left guard Elgton Jenkins, Linsley, right guard Lucas Patrick and right tackle Billy Turner. Linsley’s injury meant musical chairs: Jenkins to center, Patrick to left guard, Turner to right guard and Rick Wagner in the lineup at right tackle. Patrick didn’t allow a sack in 11 games at right guard but yielded three at left guard.
Linsley will look to finish strong amid a challenging second half of the season. He missed most of the Week 11 game at Indianapolis with an injured back but returned to start the against Chicago, only to suffer a knee injury on the opening series.
Playing his final season under contract, Linsley was having an excellent season. According to Sports Info Solutions, he has not allowed a sack in the passing game or a stuff (tackle at or behind the line) in the running game. He has not been penalized, either.
“Best center in the league for 2020,” left tackle David Bakhtiari said this week.
So, not only was Linsley blocking opposing defenders but he was blocking out the potential distractions of contract uncertainty.
“I know it sounds just weird or like a cheesy answer but it is what it is,” Linsley said last month. “I feel like this season itself is just so crazy. And it’s week to week. I really don’t have time to just sit back and wonder and twiddle my thumbs and all that stuff. I’m just playing week in and week out for my teammates and for myself and for my family. It is what it is and the chips are going to fall however they fall. There’s nothing I can do about that besides playing at a high level and, if I don’t, regroup and get that back the following week.”
Linsley played every snap in the 2017 and 2018 seasons and started every game in 2019, as well. His 68-game regular-season starts streak ended in Week 13 against Philadelphia.
That wasn’t the only transaction from Saturday.
RB Dexter Williams: With Jamaal Williams (quad) doubtful, Dexter Williams will provide a third option at running back behind Aaron Jones and rookie AJ Dillon.
“AJ’s had a great week of practice,” LaFleur said on Thursday of Dillon, who missed more than a month due to COVID-19. “You can tell he’s got his wind back.”
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“It’s good having him back. He’s a stud. He’s a future Hall of Famer,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
Dexter Williams was elevated for Week 7 at Houston and Week 9 at San Francisco. He carried twice for 8 yards against the 49ers but suffered a knee injury and landed on injured reserve.
DL Brian Price: Price will provide added beef to the defensive front for a game against NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry.
The Packers signed Price to the practice squad on Dec. 16. Price (6-3, 322), a third-year player out of the University of Texas-San Antonio, went undrafted in 2016 and signed with Green Bay. He failed to make the roster and spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad, with the exception of one early-season appearance against Detroit in which he played 10 snaps.
Also: The Packers added a second-generation NFL punter to their practice squad.