Rookie Corey Linsley will get the start at center for the Green Bay Packers in Thursday night’s season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
The fifth-round pick out of Ohio State will get the call due to a knee injury to starter J.C. Tretter that will keep him out for the start of the regular season. In addition to dealing with the raucous crowd at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, Linsley will have to matchup against Seattle nose tackle Brandon Mebane for the majority of the evening.
Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin doesn’t envy the task Linsley will face Thursday night.
“If I’m a rookie and I’ve got Brandon Mebane my first game – he’s one of the best nose tackles in the league – it’s going to be big for him,” Irvin said. “I’m gonna pray for him. It’s going to be a long night, man.”
The last time the Packers traveled to Seattle in 2012, the Seahawks sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times in the first half. Mebane and Irvin both picked up two sacks apiece that night against Green Bay.
Mebane is one of the more underrated nose tackles in the game and is a key piece in Seattle’s defensive front. With a rookie lining up across from him, the Seahawks hope to take advantage of Linsley’s inexperience.
“We’ve just got to take advantage of it,” Irvin said. “All the weaknesses he shows us, we have to expose it and hopefully [Mebane] gonna do what I know he gonna do to him.”
Irvin says he expects to play against the Packers as well Thursday night. He missed the entirety of the preseason while recovering from offseason hip surgery. He returned to practice this week.