GREEN BAY, Wis. – Not only was center Corey Linsley out of action for the Green Bay Packers at Wednesday's practice but right guard Lucas Patrick was limited participation.
Linsley’s absence was not a surprise. The standout veteran suffered a knee injury in the first quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears and is expected to miss at least a few weeks. Patrick missed the final 13 snaps of the Chicago game with a toe injury.
Without Linsley for most of the last two games – he was sidelined for most of the Indianapolis game after his back locked up – the Packers went with Elgton Jenkins at center and rookie Jon Runyan at guard. With Patrick out at the end of the Chicago game, right tackle Billy Turner moved to right guard and veteran Rick Wagner was inserted at right tackle.
If Linsley and Patrick are out, the depth that has central to the offense's success would be almost eradicated. There are only eight linemen on the 53-man roster roster. Yosh Nijman, who has played 11 career snaps on offense as an undrafted free agent in 2019, would be the last man standing.
Guards Ben Braden (four career snaps as an undrafted free agent in 2017) and Zach Johnson (zero career snaps as an undrafted rookie) and tackle Ryan Pope (zero career snaps as undrafted free agent in 2019) are on the practice squad. Sixth-round guard Simon Stepaniak, who suffered a torn ACL in December while at Indiana, is on the physically unable to perform list but has been practicing.
Meanwhile, there are signs of progress from linebacker Krys Barnes and running back AJ Dillon, both of whom tested positive for COVID-19 last month. Barnes practiced for the first time since being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Nov. 6 and has been activated to the 53-man roster. Barnes opened the season as a starter but has ceded that role to veteran Christian Kirksey and fifth-round pick Kamal Martin. Dillon, who was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Nov. 2, didn’t practice but at least was present, according to reporters at practice.
Receiver Tavon Austin and defensive tackle Anthony Rush, who were signed on Tuesday, were on the practice field. Coach Matt LaFleur talks about Austin in the video.
For the Eagles, premier tight end Zach Ertz was activated off injured reserve and is expected to play. He has been a security blanket for quarterback Carson Wentz, who has suffered through a miserable season.
Packers Injury Report
DNP: C Corey Linsley (knee).
Limited: LB Krys Barnes (calf), RB Tyler Ervin (ribs), CB Josh Jackson (concussion), CB Kevin King (Achilles), WR Allen Lazard (core), TE Marcedes Lewis (knee), G Lucas Patrick (toe), S Darnell Savage (back), P JK Scott (quad), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (knee).
Full: CB Jaire Alexander (knee/hand), S Will Redmond (shoulder/elbow).
Eagles: Injury Report
DNP: DT Fletcher Cox (neck), S Rudy Ford (hamstring).
Limited: LB T.J. Edwards (hamstring), TE Zach Ertz (ankle).