clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

If Frank Zombo Is Injured, Then It's Erik Walden At Outside Linebacker

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

After two preseason games, I hadn't been thrilled with the Green Bay Packers prospects at right outside linebacker. While he hadn't been a standout against either the Browns or the Cardinals, LB Frank Zombo was probably their best option but now he's out with a shoulder blade fracture. Even if he can return later this season, they'll need someone else to start the season. Here's the depth chart.

LB Erik Walden. Arguably he'd outplayed Zombo this preseason and in practice. But he made me nervous in pass coverage, and I had given Zombo the edge. He showed some potential last season with 5 starts and a monster 3 sack game against the Bears in Week 17. Not a bad Plan B.

LB Ricky Elmore. While he's been a non-factor in the first two preseason games (including an ugly missed tackle against the Cardinals) he looked great in practice on Monday. I had hoped the 7th round draft choice would show more in the preseason, but this gives him an opportunity to earn a roster spot.

LB Jamari Lattimore. Like Elmore, he's another college defensive end trying to transition to outside linebacker. I've read some good things about him at practice, but it hasn't shown up during the preseason games yet in limited playing time.

There are some other options, such as moving LB Brad Jones back to the position (but he's battling a knee injury) or switching undrafted rookie LB Vic So'oto over to the right side. Right now, I'm sure it'll be Walden to start come week 1, and then we'll have to wait and see how the coaches line them up at right outside linebacker over the next two preseason games.