Green and Bold: Packers Must Activate Corey Linsley

After cutting running back Knile Davis on Monday, the Packers have an open roster spot. The best way to use it would be to activate Corey Linsley from the PUP list.   

After cutting running back Knile Davis on Monday, the Packers have an open roster spot. The best way to use it would be to activate Corey Linsley from the PUP list. 

There are, obviously, multiple directions the Packers could go in terms of their open spot. They might, for instance, sign one of the cornerbacks they worked out on Tuesday, as ESPN's Adam Caplan reported: 

Thomas was an undrafted free agent this year who signed with the Houston Texans and then landed on injured reserve, agreeing to an injury settlement with the team in September. Wallace also signed with the Texans as a UDFA but was waived on August 3, subsequently signing with the San Francisco 49ers. Scott signed with the San Diego Chargers but was released as part of final roster cuts. 

While the exigency at the cornerback position can't be ignored, LaDarius Gunter has been surprisingly capable filling in for Damarious Randall, and Demetri Goodson and Josh Hawkins at least know the Packers system and coverages better than any of the players brought in for workouts. 

The Packers could also use the opening on the roster for the position it was originally intended for: another halfback. But one can imagine that if the Packers were willing to let Davis walk after just five carries, James Starks is closer to a return than originally thought. One could also expect that Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery will return in Week 9; otherwise, cutting Davis and leaving Don Jackson as the only halfback on the roster seems more than reckless. 

But the roster spot could go a long way if the Packers activate Linsley. There are two issues brewing on the offensive line; one is an apparent re-aggravation of a hip injury T.J. Lang has been dealing with this season against the Atlanta Falcons last week. Lang left the field briefly before returning, but as a cornerstone of this offensive line, the Packers don't want to ask Lang to tough it out so much at the season's midpoint that he's not able to go in a potential playoff run. 

The other issue that is more directly related to Linsley is the fact that center J.C. Tretter hurt his knee at the end of the game against the Falcons. Thankfully, on Tuesday the team revealed that Tretter only sprained, not tore, his MCL. ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported that the injury isn't expected to keep him out long, but if for some reason both Tretter and Lang were out, the reshuffling on the line would be major.

It's been near-disastrous when Don Barclay has had to step in this season; just look back at the Bears game, in which Chicago's defensive front immediately targeted Barclay, forced an Aaron Rodgers fumble, and recovered it for a touchdown in the end zone on Barclay's first snap in the game. 

Even if Linsley isn't needed to relieve Tretter at center, it would be beneficial to have him available for depth elsewhere on the line. While he's not experienced at guard, could he really be worse than Barclay?

Given the issues Aaron Rodgers has had this season and the total reshuffle in the backfield, excellent offensive line play isn't just a benefit for the Packers to finish out the season; it's a necessity. 

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Comments (31)

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Nick Perry's picture

November 02, 2016 at 06:25 am

The million dollar question is could Lindsey play guard? If Tretter doesn't miss time I'd highly doubt they would mess with moving Tretter. I'm starting to wonder if Tretter is even going to be in Green Bay past this season because what would be best for the Packers (Tretter at guard-Lindsey at Center) there's going to be a team in need of a Center willing to pay Tretter. Would the Packers pay Tretter to play Guard? Does Tretter want to play Guard? Do the Packers want Lang back?

These are all questions for next season, but my hope is Lindsey comes back and somehow, someway, the Packers are able to keep Barclay on the bench! I mean HOW much do they need to see before they say, "This guy really does suck"?

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 07:10 am

That is the question that I have asked before as well. Whether Linsley can play guard or not. I'm not sure if Tretter can. He isn't as stout as Linsley. But Tretter is more athletic.

Either way, I would trust either of them to play Guard over Barclay.

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Rossonero's picture

November 02, 2016 at 07:39 am

I believe Tretter can play Guard and is the most versatile linemen that we have. The odds of him playing Guard are better than Linsley, who's core position is Center.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 10:19 am

I tend to agree.

Regardless either will be better then Barclay.

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Spud Rapids's picture

November 02, 2016 at 03:45 pm

The pack have said that Tretter can play all positions on the line... That's why he and Bahk were priority resigns over Sitton

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 06:33 am

Personally, I think they should sign a player at another position. RB, or CB. And when they bring up Linsley just let go of Barclay. I don't have the exact numbers but I think the majority of Rodgers fumbles have came when Barclay was playing.

They maybe happy that Starks is going to rejoin them, but lets not forget that the was averaging less then 2 yards a carry before he got hurt. He isn't a lock to help the team. They still could use another RB.

They still need CB help. At this point I'm not sure that they can bring anyone in that would be an upgrade over Goodson, but it would at least provide depth.

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mrtundra's picture

November 02, 2016 at 08:13 am

Goodson wasn't bad against Atlanta. Yeah, he got beat for a TD, but the throw was right on the money and Goodson played as good of coverage as he could have on the WR and still had a chance to swipe the ball away at the end. Atlanta has one of the best offenses in the league. I think Goodson did okay for his part.

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MarkinMadison's picture

November 02, 2016 at 08:30 am

Yeah, but I was swallowing hard when Gunter was limping around a bit. The Packers are paper thin at CB right now.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 10:29 am

He wasn't 'bad'. But he wasn't great either. The QB did have a perfect 158.3 passing rating when throwing at Goodson. Though he did come up and made a perfect tackle which impressed me.
That deep play he got beat on, I would like to know what the coverage is or what the Safety's responsibility's are for that. He played with outside leverage, which looked like to me he was expecting help in the middle of the field. Clinton-Dix came from the other side of the field to try and take it away but was a step late. Was one of the 2 safety's supposed to be there?
That being said Goodson had good coverage on that play, and was beat by 1 step and it took a perfect throw to complete it.

I doubt we can bring anyone in that would be better.

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Donster's picture

November 02, 2016 at 06:34 am

If Linsley is ready to play, use him to fill the open roster spot. Especially since Tretter is nursing a knee and Lang a hip. That is more than likely the reason why Davis was released. The offensive line must protect AR or this team has little chance the rest of the season.

If they are working out off cast CB's, that may tell that Randall and Rollins won't be back as soon as they thought.

Going to have to make room for Cook when he is ready to come back. So who will get released? Elliot? He has been pretty non-existent since last year.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 06:44 am

The CB's they worked out likely are for the PS? I am guessing anyways. They still have an open spot on the PS as far as I know.

Cook is already on the roster. They don't have to make room for him.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 02, 2016 at 06:35 am

I've been wondering this too NP.

Watching TT operate for more than 10 years now, I think many of us just assume that Lang is gone after this year, that Linsley takes back is OC position, and Tretter takes the RG spot. But I agree with you that there are real size/strength questions with Tretter at OG. He's no mauler.

The other question: Does Bulaga move to RG to make room for Spriggs? Or is Bulaga traded? You know TT didn't take Spriggs in the 2nd (while moving up to get him!) to make him the 6th man. He's going to play soon.

Lots of questions on the OL for 2017.

For this year - Don Barclay needs to never see the football field. And if activating Linsley is the best way to avoid this, I'm all for it.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 06:50 am

'For this year - Don Barclay needs to never see the football field.'

At this point they can't trust him to be on the field. He has gotten burned every time he has been on the field.

I said it earlier in my post, but release Barclay, activate Linsley, and sign another player with Davis' spot.

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Nick Perry's picture

November 02, 2016 at 08:55 pm

Oh man I forgot all about Spriggs, excellent point Bearmeat.

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Lphill's picture

November 02, 2016 at 07:06 am

No sense in signing an inexperienced undrated corner , stick with who we have, activate Linsley and cut Barclay so the Vikings can grab him, that would gurentee the demise of the Vikings.

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Handsback's picture

November 02, 2016 at 07:24 am

Linsley needs to be activated. As far as starting him, I don't see that happening unless Lang goes down for several games. They (being the coaches) aren't likely to change the chemistry of the Oline unless they have to. Barclay has proven one thing....he's no Lane Taylor and I doubt he'll be around beyond this year. In fact if Lang does go out for a few games, Patrick may be called up.

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Razer's picture

November 02, 2016 at 07:50 am

... Linsley needs to be activated....

To keep the offense humming, we need our O-line playing well. Linsley is a good center, probably better than Tretter. He gives us insurance and flexibility without a dropoff in performance. Since we are only at the half way point of the season, we need this shelf stocked.

As usual, Handsback is hammering nails.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:07 pm

I agree Handsback. I've no idea whether Murphy or Spriggs have practiced at OG, but they might be an option at OG as a stopgap in addition to Patrick.

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Rossonero's picture

November 02, 2016 at 07:41 am

I can't believe Don Barclay is still on this team! Every time he comes in, he screws up! I mean, it's incredible that the coaching staff keeps standing by him. I don't get it. Barclay almost got Rodgers murdered vs. Arizona last season too. Enough is enough. If we need roster spots opened up, cut Barclay. Sheesh.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 08:13 am

My opinion is that if Corey is healthy and ready to go (allowed), give him his primary job - center. Move J. C. Tretter to RG and buy some time for T. J. to heal his injury properly and fully.
JC is one very good football player but he is worse than Linsley at C. So, for many reasons what I already wrote, put Linsley back to center and move Tretter to RG (also, do not forgot that JC can play both guards and both tackles if there is a need!)...
Thank you!

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Point Packer's picture

November 02, 2016 at 08:24 am

Don Barclay has been the worst player on this roster for two straight years. Why TT keeps bringing him back is just another example of how he is losing his mind. Personnel moves this season have been an all round utter disaster.

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NMPF's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:32 am

Packers worked out CBs Duke Thomas, Cleveland Wallace, and Larry Scott? I thought these guys are the 5pm news team. News anchor Cleveland Wallace, Weatherman Larry Scott and Duke Thomas with your sports. Sorry TT, next please.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 10:02 am

I would assume worked out for the PS?

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carusotrap's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:38 am

Your article supposes a layer of rationality with regards to the management of this team, and I just don't think we can assume that. This season's team has been built (or not built) upon some of the strangest personnel choices I can ever remember since I was first conscious of the Packers in the early 70s.

We're supposed to trust in Ted, but even the most Green and Gold colored glasses wearer has to admit, he's made some truly weird choices.

Yes, yes. I know...."we don't have the knowledge or ability of the GM." There may be truth in that statement, but even the most Green and Gold Thompson apologists can see that Don Barclay can't play football, a healthy James Starks is not anything more than a 2 yard per carry placeholder, our punter is dismal, we could use Casey Hayward, you might give an RB more than five carries before you cut him with only one other RB available, signing UDFAs is not the only way to build a team, Jeff Janis is not the answer, signing a big name TE who is always hurt is not actually a signing, the draft happens only once a year and you have to field a team in the meantime, Randall Cobb is not an acceptable substitute for a real RB....and on and on.

The point is, some of Ted's baffling moves this year defy even "Ted logic" and that's saying something.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2016 at 10:19 am

I'm not going to deny that Thompson has made some odd decisions...

Keeping 2 RB's, 3 QB's, 7 WR's, 6 Safety's.. All odd.

But as we have seen the 7 WR's were figured into the RB spots.

I agree with some of your take. Some I disagree with.

Barclay has to go. They would be better bringing anyone up from the PS or using Murphy at RG. Barclay is done.

Hayward, most people were happy to see him leave. I hope they are not the same ones now wishing he was back.

The Davis thing I'm sure they said they had to see something by a certain time or they would cut him. I do find it odd that they didn't give him more opportunities but they saw him for 2 weeks in practice. The more odd decision to me was to claim Pressley from the Vikings then cut him 1 week later.
What was wrong with the Cook signing? To my knowledge he hasn't had an injured history.
Also, as much as Schum was bad the first few weeks, he has punted well in the last 2-3 games.

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Since '61's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:40 am

I agree with the previous posters here to bring Linsley back at Center, move Tretter to guard, and cut Barclay. That would still leave a roster spot open to sign an RB or CB. Probably CB is a bigger need right now if Monty and/or Cobb are ready to go this week. Thanks, Since '61

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guzzi2000's picture

November 02, 2016 at 10:29 am

Barclay needs to go and soon. I think Jerry Kramer could play better. Something needs to be done soon in regards to depth in most areas of the team and by depth I mean adequate players not just bodies. After looking at the remainder of the schedule it would appear that they need to win 6 out of 9 to make the playoffs. Moral victories don't count as wins. I don't see any gimmies in the next 9 games with the inconsistencies in the teams current play.

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stockholder's picture

November 02, 2016 at 10:49 am

I felt Linsey was TTs best draft pick of 2014. The guy was needed at center and stepped right in. Should have been named rookie of the year. The packers had two other centers and flipped them several times during a game. I feel Tretter can play anywhere. So if Linseys is back up to speed work him back in at center. Activation is a plus!

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Mojo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 03:33 pm

I think Tretter is already ruled out for the Colts and Linsley has already been activated. So it appears Linsley will be starting at center Sunday.

Which makes me wonder what would be the best combo if by chance Lang can't play or is very limited - Linsley at center and Barclay at guard - or the reverse. (Note: the Pack are going to play Barclay whether we like it or not).

Barclay(shot-gun snaps excepted) was actually decent at center in the exhibition season. Linsley is already a good center. If I can assume Linsley is at least a decent guard, then what would we rather have - a good center (Linsley) bad quard (Barclay) combo or a decent center(Barclay) and decent guard (Linsley) combo. The decent - decent combo might make sense because at least you don't get your QB killed like you might with Barclay at guard.

All that said, I'm certain GB will go with Linsley at center and Barclay at guard.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 02, 2016 at 09:19 pm

The article befuddles me a bit. Of course GB is going to activate Linsley as soon as he is healthy and ready to go. No need for any exhortations.

I don't agree that releasing Davis suggests that Starks is closer to coming back than thought. I think Davis was released to save the draft pick, period.

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sheppercheeser's picture

November 03, 2016 at 05:05 am

Barclay must have some dirt on TT. It's the only explanation for putting in a player that puts your franchise QB at risk.

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