Meet the Packers New Middle Linebacker

Whoever he is.

With LB Nick Barnett out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear, the Packers will start someone else at middle linebacker for only the 2nd time since he became the full time starter early in 2003. He broke his hand during the 2006 season and missed one game while former Packer LB Abdul Hodge started in his place.

It's expected by most beat writers that LB A.J. Hawk will start in the middle with LB Brady Poppinga and LB Brandon Chillar on the outside. I would agree that Hawk should be in the middle too, but Mike McCarthy isn't saying who will start:

"(Did you decide what to do at linebacker?)
Yes, we're working all the combinations between A.J. Hawk moving to mike, Brandon Chillar and Desmond Bishop. We're double-training, and also you could put Brady Poppinga into that sort there. We're going to double-train all those guys to make sure we're ready to get in and out of our different personnel groups.

(Any inclination whom to start?)
They're all going to be ready. You guys go to practice. I'm sure you may have an opinion on who's going to be there. We just can't wait to get to Sunday for a number of reasons, particularly who's going to play mike linebacker. A.J. is getting a lot of work there, and we just have to be ready just to be able to move in and out of our different personnel groups."

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