Bruce Irvin planning to play, 'going to pray for' Packers rook center

Bruce Irvin is preparing to play Thursday.
Bruce Irvin is preparing to play Thursday. (USATSI)

Football kicks off on Thursday night when the Packers and Seahawks square off. For many, it's the start of the season. For Packers center Corey Linsley -- set to start for Green Bay -- it's the start of his career and it couldn't be coming in a more rowdy environment or against a tougher defense.

It's such an obviously difficult challenge Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin said he's "going to pray for" the rook in his first start.

"I'm going to pray for him," Irvin told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. "It's going to be a long night, man. We've got to just take advantage of it."

Irvin flat-out terrorized the Packers offensive line when these two teams met in 2012 (the infamous "Fail Mary" game) and beat up on Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga especially bad; the Seahawks finished with eight sacks ... in the first half

Lobbing a rookie center into the cauldron of CenturyLink Field against a defensive tackle like Brandon Mebane doesn't even really seem like a fair thing to do. 

"All the weaknesses that [Linsley] shows us, we've got to expose it," Irvin said. "Hopefully, 'Bane going to do what I know he's going to do to him. So, we've just got to be ready."

As for Irvin himself, it sounds like the third-year linebacker will end up playing after all. Irvin was activated off the PUP list on Monday by the Seahawks and looked like a longshot to play after undergoing offseason hip surgery.

Now it looks like he'll get a shot to make Linsley's first day of real NFL work an even longer one.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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