Smith expected to start for Packers
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Former Appalachian State linebacker D.J. Smith will likely be moved into the Green Bay Packers’ starting lineup after Packers coach Mike McCarthy confirmed starting linebacker Desmond Bishop will need surgery to fix an injured hamstring.
Bishop was injured during the Packers’ preseason loss to San Diego Thursday. McCarthy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that “Demsond’s season is in jeopardy.”
“Once we have the surgery, we’ll probably have a better idea of his status for the season,” McCarthy told the Press-Gazette.
Smith, a rookie free agent last season, filled in for Bishop last season after Bishop suffered a calf pull on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions. Smith finished with seven tackles and a quarterback hit.
The following week against the New York Giants, he started for Bishop and led the Packers with nine tackles. He also had a hit on Giants quarterback Eli Manning that forced an errant throw.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews intercepted the pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. One week later against the Oakland Raiders, he finished with nine tackles and an interception.
The Packers host the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.