Irvin: Will be 'long night' for Linsley

Bruce Irvin

Corey Linsley will start at center for the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night in the loudest stadium in the NFL, CenturyLink Field, without having had a single snap with quarterback Aaron Rodgers in preseason play.

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin can't help but feel sorry for him.

"I'm going to pray for him," Irvin told reporters Tuesday. "It's going to be a long night, man. We've got to just take advantage of it."

The Packers' starter at center, JC Tretter, sustained a fracture to his left knee during an Aug. 22 preseason game against the Oakland Raiders and was played on short-term injured reserve Wednesday.

Besides dealing with the noise, Linsley will be tasked with trying to stop Brandon Mebane, one of the best nose tackles in the NFL, who anchors the defensive line for the defending Super Bowl champions. Seattle had the NFL's top defense last season.

"All the weaknesses that [Linsley] shows us, we've got to expose it," Irvin told reporters. "Hopefully, Bane going to do what I know he's going to do to him. So, we've just got to be ready."

Irvin is on the Seahawks' active roster despite not participating in training camp as he recovered from hip surgery. He said he'll be playing Thursday.

"Oh yeah. I ain't supposed to say this, but yeah, I'll be out there Thursday," he said.

The Packers plan to use their no-huddle offense extensively against Seattle, having spent the offseason and training camp working on it. But during the preseason finale against Kansas City with Linsley at center, they ran, by unofficial count, only three snaps of no-huddle with Linsley on the field. Not only does Rodgers not have an in-game snap with Linsley, but the two have never operated in the no-huddle together, either.

"Corey's a smart guy. He's played a lot of center in his time, and he's going to be expected to play well. So we expect him to be able to keep up,'' Rodgers said Tuesday. "I've said it a lot, but he's got two incredible guards on both sides of him who are going to help him out with the calls and make sure that he's ready. But Corey is going to study hard, he's very well-coached, and he's going to be ready to go.''

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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