Pulse of the Pack: Panning for Rookie Gold

The dream of 23-0 stays alive as the Packers knocked off the San Francisco 49ers to improve to 3-0 on the preseason.  With the first roster cutdowns coming this week, who helped their cause and who should start cleaning out their locker?  How did the starters look and are they ready for Jacksonville in two weeks?  Justis Mosqueda of Playmaker Mentality joins Jacob and Jason to discuss the rookie class and how they’re faring so far.  Where does each fit in with this current Packers roster and are any of them in danger of not making the final 53-man?  Which undrafted free agents have stood out and which player’s roster spots are hanging in the balance going into this last preseason game?  All of that plus answers to listener questions on this latest Pulse of the Pack podcast!

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Pulse of the Pack is your weekly stop for what’s new with the Green Bay Packers. Jacob Westendorf of Today’s Pigskin and Jason Perone of CheeseheadTV bring “Pulse” to the Packers Talk Network. Be sure to follow the guys on Twitter at @JacobWestendorf and @JasonPerone.

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Cheesehead Radio: Send In The Drones with Ryan Wood

What’s that hovering over the north end zone? Is it an Aaron Rodgers bomb? Is it Bill Bellichek scouting the Packers? Is it Jeff Janis’s 15 minutes of fame? No, it was actually a drone, which draws the attention of a lot of people. The Cheesehead Radio gang are here this week to give some advice on how to NOT let your Packer addictions land you in jail, as well as a ton of other great Packers news and opinions you won’t find anywhere else!

Joining us is the amazing Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com. He’ll also provide his opinions on all things happening in Packer Nation. Don’t miss a second of this week’s Cheesehead Radio.

Jersey Al, Jayme, Michelle,  and CD bring you your latest Packers news, tweets, and intrepid analysis that you always expect for the Cheesehead Radio crew.

Are you ready? GO PACK GO!!!

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

Cheesehead Radio is brought to you by PackersTalk, featuring Jersey Al BraccoCD Angeli, Jayme Snowden, and Michelle Bruton. Follow us on TwitterFacebookiTunes, and YouTube.

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Packers Post-Game Post Mortem

Filling in for the usual post-game analysis, so I guess it is time to pull the autopsy slab out of the lab and dissect the third preseason game of the year. It’s always a special treat when it’s the 49ers that are getting the proverbial autopsy. We got our first look at a nearly-intact first team offense. No one left in a body bag, and there were no major injuries. Regardless of the score, I would definitely call that win.

  • Guess who’s back? Back again. Aaron’s back. Tell a friend.
  • Okay, we all got finally see Aaron Rodgers. Happy now? He looks like exactly who we expected him to be. Now can we put him back in bubble wrap so he doesn’t get broken between now and Week 1?
  • That said, it took a little bit for Rodgers and the offense to find a rhythm. But once it happened, Rodgers proved he ain’t dead yet and is ready to take the helm with the opening snap of the season. Sharp, crisp. It doesn’t matter that Jordy Nelson was out there or not. They already have chemistry. He trusts him. Besides, I totally take Rodgers’ word when he says that timing and chemistry is formed in consistent practice and not in a quasi-meaningful preseason game.
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Packers vs 49ers in 3…2…1…

Two weeks are down in the 2016 preseason and we are starting to see what the Packers will all be about. They have run the ball extremely well early on and have shown a strong defense, especially in coverage. After dismantling Cleveland and Oakland in back-to-back weeks at Lambeau, Now they travel across the country to San Francisco to take on a recent nemesis in the 49ers.

The starters, including Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Randall Cobb are slated to play for the first (and likely only) time this preseason. And like the other two games, the key here is to get out of San Francisco healthy. In previous years, it has been Week 3 that has been a serious issue for the Packers for injuries. But this is the last chance for some guys to make a statement before roster cuts Tuesday. And that leads us to this week’s edition of 3…2…1…

For those of you who didn’t read here last year, the 3…2…1… series is a countdown of things the team needs to do to win. I highlight 3 key players (usually not big name guys), 2 bold predictions, and 1 key stat that the Packers need to win. But before I jump into it, let’s take a quick look at last week. Once the regular season starts, I’ll start keeping track week to week to see if I have been effective in predicting the Packers keys. Usually these articles will be on Saturday before the game, but with preseason in the middle of the week, it’s a little different for the timing.

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Pack to the Future #19: Unprofessional Behavior

The Pack to the Future Posse are back for more great Packers news and opinions. Don’t miss the latest on everything going on this training camp as we get you ready for the third preseason tilt against the 49ers on Friday night!

Listen to Pack to the Future every week, featuring co-hosts Jordan Peck, Brian Fonfara, and Dusty Evely. Pack to the Future is a great podcast brought to you by Titletown Sound and just one of many great Green Bay Packers podcasts you will find at PackersTalk. Keep up on all the latest Packers news by following us on iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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A Mid-Preseason Packers Roster Prediction

Back in June I posted a way, way too early roster prediction. Let’s see how things are shaping up with half of training camp and the preseason in the books. I’ve ranked players roughly according to depth chart position. And, as always, I take a shot at naming ten players currently on the roster who the Packers might attempt to retain on the practice squad.

Quarterbacks:

Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley

Running Backs:

Eddie Lacy, James Starks, John Crockett

Fullback:

Aaron Ripkowski

Tight Ends:

Jared Cook, Richard Rodgers, Kennard Backman, Justin Perillo

Offensive Line:

David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, JC Tretter, TJ Lang, Bryan Bulaga, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Lane Taylor, Don Barclay

Wide Receivers:

Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery, Trevor Davis

Defensive Line:

Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Letroy Guion, Dean Lowry, Christian Ringo*

*Mike Pennel does not count against the roster for the first four games of the season due to suspension. I still suspect that Ringo will be waived to make room for Pennel when he returns.

Outside Linebackers:

Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Nick Perry, Datone Jones, Jayrone Elliott, Kyler Fackrell, Lerentee McCray

Inside Linebackers:

Sam Barrington, Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan, Carl Bradford

Cornerbacks: 

Sam Shields, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, Ladarius Gunter, Josh Hawkins

Safeties:

Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Chris Banjo, Micah Hyde

Special Teams:

Mason Crosby, Tim Mathsay, Rick Lovato

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Corey Linsley and Understanding the PUP List

Don’t expect Corey Linsley back soon.

Nothing like a lingering injury to change everything. After starting at center for Green Bay Packers for the past two seasons, center Corey Linsley isn’t moving off the PUP list fast at all. Initially sidelined by a hamstring injury during this past May’s OTAs, Linsley has yet to play a single snap during the 2016 training camp. Instead of snapping the ball to the first team offense, he’s been working daily with the training staff to return. In the meantime, JC Tretter has been named the starting center, and it is his job at this point to lose.
And so Linsley sits on the PUP list, that no-mans land where players either get a little respite to heal or their careers fizzle out all together. While this isn’t a career killer for Linsley by any stretch of the imagination, it is yet another wrench thrown into the offensive front line. Just when you think you’ve got the entire band back together, there’s a question mark as to when exactly Linsley will be cleared to return.
Word on the street is that he does not need surgery. That tells me he likely has what is called a Class II, or partial tear. Remember, that all muscle strains, by their very nature, are muscle tears. The severity of the injury determines the degree of the tear. A class one is the simple muscle strain. There is minimal tearing of the actual muscle fibers, and recover is rather short and are usually better in under two weeks. On the other side of the spectrum, there is the Class III muscle tear where the entire body of the muscle is torn in two. Those are the injuries that invariably need surgery.
HamstringInjuries_SmallAnd then there are Class II muscle tears (the middle graphic.) These type of injuries have a larger tear to the muscle fibers, but it isn’t a complete tear. It’s enough to leave a player very symptomatic. There may be a large bruise on the back of the thigh shortly after the acute injury (muscles, like many tissues bleed when torn.) These type of injuries do not typically require surgery and rely on the RICE regimen (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) as well as a large tincture of time for recovery. Emphasis on tincture of time.
Remember when Rodgers tore his calf two seasons ago and was sidelined forever yet didn’t need surgery? Same severity of injury as what Linsley likely has only in a different muscle group.
Recovery is variable with partial tears. They are typically gauged in terms of weeks to months, depending on the severity of the injury. It appears that Linsley initially tore his hamstring back in May but reinjured the muscle in July. So he’s back to square one with his hamstring. In other words, don’t hold your breath for a timely return before Packers head into week one of regular season play as the Packers head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars.
So where does this leave the Packers’ injured center? With training camp quickly winding down, it appears that he remains very much in limbo. If he doesn’t make it off the PUP list, that status will automatically transfer over to the regular season. Perhaps that is the best option for him at this point. He wouldn’t necessarily be lost to the season on injured reserve unlike WR Jeff Janis who had practiced and would not be eligible for the PUP list.
The downside would mean he is a guaranteed no-show for the first six weeks of the regular season as per league rules related to PUP athletes. If he doesn’t play, it’s no different than being on IR, but it this would keep the Designated For Return IR position available for if and when they need to use it later in the season for another key player. (No, the Packers will not be using that spot for Janis. There are million ways to use the Designated For Return spot that do not involve burning it up on the WR that is fourth or fifth on the wide receiver depth chart.)
Chances are he will just remain on the PUP list as he is recovering. It makes no sense moving him over to injured reserve.  I honestly don’t see him returning before the end of training camp, but chances are he will be cleared to play some time this season. He’d have six weeks of no daily wear and tear of practice to focus solely on rehabilitation. And he’d be fresh and ready to go about the time other linemen start dropping like flies from other assorted injuries. (There’s nothing wrong with a fresh set of legs at that point in the season!) The team would not even have to tap into the Designated For Return status if they wanted to bring him back. And as far as returning to play goes, the DFR status is really no different than PUP–you have to sit for at least six weeks until you are eligible for return. The PUP is a way to allow a long-term injury to heal. As long as a player like Linsley has not practiced, that spot does have to be used and can be saved for an in-season injury that needs significant time to heal but has a chance to return as the Packers head toward a possible off season.
So in the meantime, it is crucial that Tretter get every snap possible with the first team so that he gels with the line and just assume he is the long-haul guy at center. That’s the nature of offensive lines–next man up. And quite honestly, I’d rather have two healthy options at center over the course of the 16 game regular season and beyond instead of hoping Lang can improvise and going through the disastrous musical chairs with the offensive line like last year.
It’s not a season until someone on the offensive line goes down with an injury that takes weeks to recover from. Looks like this year’s lucky man is center Corey Linsley.
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Kelly Hodgson is a writer for PackersTalk.com and you can listen to her as a Co-Host of Out of the Pocket. You can also follow Kelly on Twitter at @ceallaigh_k

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