It would be fair if you had forgotten all about Corey Linsley. The Green Bay Packers’ starting center in 2015 spent all of training camp and the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list.
Meanwhile, J.C. Tretter has entrenched himself as the team’s starting center and arguably, the Packers’ best offensive lineman.
We were reminded that Linsley is still around when he appeared at practice for the first time this season on Tuesday. And with that, we were reminded that the Packers will soon have another roster decision to make.
Linsley is eligible to return from the PUP, but someone else will have to be eliminated from the roster in order for him to do that. All of the roster juggling in the past week hasn’t always worked out like the Packers have wanted, so Linsley presents what can realistically be viewed as an unwelcome situation.
The moves began when defensive lineman Mike Pennel and cornerback Demetri Goodson returned from suspension last week. In order to activate those players, the Packers were forced to release quarterback Joe Callahan and defensive lineman Brian Price. They expected to sign both players back to their practice squad.
They were able to get Price back, but the New Orleans Saints claimed Callahan.
Next came the running back debacle. Injuries have diluted the position to the point that the Packers had to trade for Knile Davis. In order to add Davis to the roster, they sent concussed cornerback Sam Shields to injured reserve.
Like losing Callahan, that too was an undesirable outcome. Although Shields hasn’t played since week 1, it appeared he would be able to return sooner than the eight weeks he now has to remain on IR.
Further, the Packers will reportedly activate practice squad running back Don Jackson before Thursday night’s game. That will require another roster move and likely a risky one.
We know the Packers really don’t want to release anyone else. If they did, they wouldn’t have put Shields on IR.
The good news with Linsley is the team has three weeks before they will be forced to make a decision. At the moment, they don’t really need him, so we would expect the Packers to take their sweet time in making that decision. When the three week window is up, Linsley either has to be activated, released or placed on IR.
The way it looks right now, that last option appears to be the most likely.