SEATTLE—Center Corey Linsley played in plenty of loud, hostile venues with Ohio State in the Big Ten, so he wasn’t rattled by the noise at CenturyLink Field in his first NFL start on Thursday.
Linsley had just one problem with the silent count, when he failed to snap the ball to Aaron Rodgers at the moment the quarterback wanted, forcing Rodgers to call an undesired timeout in the first half of the Packers’ 36-16 loss.
Rodgers followed by barking in frustration at Linsley, but if that’s the only play that was going to go wrong from a communication standpoint for a center who just ascended to the No. 1 job less than two weeks ago, the Packers will take it.
“I thought he came up and changed the call at the line, but he got on me like a leader should,” said Linsley, who had no problem with the public scolding. “He’s the leader of this team.”
The Packers’ no-huddle offense didn’t produce the yards and points as hoped, but it wasn’t due to any issues with the non-verbal signals or the crowd noise.
“I felt really comfortable with it, even more comfortable than before,” Linsley said of the no-huddle. “I’m not sure that we had a miscommunication on the offensive line. That’s a credit to (guards) Josh (Sitton) and T.J. (Lang) as well. They helped me with anything I missed.
“I did decent for my first start, but it remains to be seen (after the film is reviewed).”
Called into action: Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod hadn’t played in a regular-season game since December 2011, his rookie season. But he was thrust into action in the first half when starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga – playing in his first game since November 2012 – went down with a knee injury.
After what appeared to be an OK start, a couple of key plays got away from Sherrod in the third quarter. On fourth-and-5 from the Seattle 41, defensive end Cliff Avril beat Sherrod right off the snap and sacked Rodgers, ending what had been a promising possession.
Then on the first snap of Green Bay’s next drive, Sherrod was beaten again, this time by defensive end Michael Bennett, who stripped Rodgers of the ball near the goal line. Sherrod recovered the fumble in the end zone, which gave the Seahawks a safety.
The timing of his two glaring mistakes couldn’t have been worse.
“I’m just shaking it off and going in and preparing for the next game,” said Sherrod, who had similar ups and downs in the preseason, his first action after two full lost seasons to injury. “I can’t do anything about this game now.
“You’re always going to have adversity in a game. It’s how you react. You have to pick yourself back up.”
The severity of Bulaga’s knee injury isn’t yet known.
Other injuries: Running back Eddie Lacy was taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a possible concussion.
Also, tight end Richard Rodgers left the game in the first half with a neck injury but did return later. He was hurt on the same play Bulaga went down. Rodgers’ absence led to more snaps for tight end Andrew Quarless, who caught three passes for 26 yards and had a big gain late called back by a holding penalty.
Uneven debut: Rookie safety and first-round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix didn’t take long to get noticed, chasing down Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson for an early sack and then recovering a muffed punt on special teams.
But he had his shaky moments, too, missing an open-field tackle on receiver Ricardo Lockette’s 33-yard TD catch in the second quarter, allowing him to escape for the score. Clinton-Dix also had a shot at an interception on a deep ball late in the first half but couldn’t haul it in.
Frustrating mistakes: The Packers’ special teams didn’t help out the defense early on, as Mike Daniels was called for running into the punter, which gave the Seahawks a first down. Seattle used the reprieve to drive for a field goal for the first points of the game.
The special teams were also out of sync on that field goal try, needing to burn a timeout because there were too many men on the field.
Receiver Randall Cobb never got a chance to return a punt, fair-catching both opportunities that came his way. Kickoff returner DuJuan Harris brought two kickoffs out from deep in the end zone and failed to get to the 20-yard line both times. He was later replaced by Micah Hyde.
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