If the Packers know who their starting interior linebackers are, they’re doing a good job of keeping it a secret. Apparently their players don’t even know who will take the field in Week 1, which is now just 10 days away.
This according to Tom Silverstein for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who writes the pecking order at inside linebacker is still up in the air heading into the final preseason game on Thursday. Five players are competing for four roster spots at the position, but as for who has the edge, if any exists, there is no indication one way or the other.
“It’s hard to tell,” said Carl Bradford, who after two years of adjusting to a new position finally looked like he belonged this summer. “I don’t know what’s in their mind.”
Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers adds the interior linebackers are all going to play a bunch on Thursday, which would seem to confirm he’s not settled on anybody just yet.
It’s an odd situation though. Usually, NFL teams have settled competitions for starting jobs by now. Training camp opened more than a month ago, and offseason programs have been ongoing since April. That should’ve been plenty of time to reach some solid conclusions on these players. It’s hard to believe Week 4 in the preseason can change that much.
Nonetheless, the Packers appear primed to use it as the final battleground at interior linebacker. Perhaps what this really speaks to is nobody has stepped up and seized the job this summer.
Packers fans could be in for another year of Clay Matthews shifting to the interior from his traditional spot on the outside.