GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The people who predicted D.J. Smith would eventually become a starter at the expense of A.J. Hawk are half right. Smith is now likely a starter, but he steps in for Desmond Bishop.
Bishop suffered a significant hamstring injury during the opening quarter on Thursday night, which Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday night will require surgery, putting his season in jeopardy.
Smith started the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit last year and has served as the lone linebacker in the dime package during camp. That experience should help his transition.
Smith said, "I think that's prepared me a little bit. The more reps you get, the more you'll be ready to play. I think the more reps I get, the more I'll be ready to go. We're going to, as a group of inside linebackers; we're going to make it a group effort to fill that void and we're going to see what happens."
On the other side of the ball, it's still probable that the Pack will sign free agent running back Cedric Benson to shore up their corps. of rushers.
Benson is durable, if nothing else. He has started 44 of a possible 48 games over the last three regular seasons. During that time he has carried the ball almost 900 times for more than 3,400 yards and 19 touchdowns.
"We have great running backs already," said RB Alex Green. "That just adds to it. It's a great thing for the team to help us win a championship."
Guard T.J. Lang added, "I think with bringing him in, we have a tremendous amount of confidence in the guys we already have, but I think that competition will make all those guys more hungry, really get them to come out and play their best football."
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