Packers: Five players key to victory in Week 17 vs. Bears

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur - Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur - Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /
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Green Bay Packers (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

2. Corey Linsley

The Packers caught a break in their Week 12 matchup against the Bears when Akiem Hicks missed the game due to injury. Green Bay was able to run right through the middle of the Bears defense on their way to 182 yards on the ground.

The Packers won’t have that luxury this time. Hicks missed the start of the week with an illness but seems to be on track to play in this all-important game.

That means starting center Corey Linsley will have his hands full.

The offense flows through the run game and after putting up over 180 on the Bears and 200 yards last week against the Titans, the Bears will do all they can to stunt the Packers’ ground game.

Linsley has had a Pro Bowl-type season despite not being voted in. He, as well as his teammates, feel this was one of the biggest snubs and you can bet Linsley will want to prove he belongs by taking care of Hicks.

He won’t be alone in his effort as Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick will also be tasked with controlling the middle to open up lanes for Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon and a possibly returning Jamaal Williams.

If the Packers want to have the same success as their last matchup, moving Hicks from the run lanes will be crucial.