Countdown to Camp: Can Bishop hold up in the middle? - KMSP-TV

Countdown to Camp: Can Bishop hold up in the middle?

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2012 linebackers 2012 linebackers

Heading into the 2013 season, one of the biggest question marks was at the linebacker position. After the franchise experimented with Jasper Brinkley in the middle a year ago, the plan heading into the off-season was to have Erin Henderson move to the middle flanked by Chad Greenway and a combination of Marvin Mitchell and rookie Gerald Hodges. That plan changed when the team added former Packer Desmond Bishop to roam the middle.

While there are several unanswered questions surrounding Bishop. He spent the entire 2012 season on the shelf with a hamstring injury that required surgery. His 2011 season was big for the Packers. Bishop finished with 115 tackles, five sacks and forced two fumbles.

While the talk leading up to training camp is that Bishop will see reps in the middle as well as weak side linebacker spots, the reality is that he belongs in the middle and that is likely where he will make his home. If the position battle breaks that way, the Vikings will have Henderson and Greenway on the outside with Bishop in the middle.

Bishop's injury, which took place in the pre-season game against San Diego last year forced the Packers starting middle linebacker into more than six months of rehab before he was able to run full speed. With that behind him, he is ready to help a team that finished 10-6 and made the playoffs improve and take the next step.

The bad news is that the history for NFL players returning from a complete hamstring tear is not good. The good news is that Bishop gives the team a solid option in the middle and with a one-year investment, anything the team gets production wise from the former Packer will be looked at as a bonus as the Penn State rookies, Hodges and middle linebacker Michael Mauti learn on the job.

Desmond Bishop7
Audie Cole2
Larry Dean3
Chad Greenway8
Erin Henderson5
Gerald HodgesR
Michael MautiR
Marvin Mitchell7
Nathan WilliamsR
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