The Green Bay Packers Saturday officially placed center Mike Flanagan on injured reserve and promoted center/guard Scott Wells from the practice squad to the active roster, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.
Grey Ruegamer, a sixth-year veteran with three career NFL starts at center with the Patriots, will assume Flanagan's starting role. With Flanagan battling tendinitis in his knee, Ruegamer took all mini-camp and training camp practice reps, and started the first three preseason games in Flanagan's absence.
Flanagan, 30, will undergo surgery as soon as next week to alleviate stress on his patellar tendon, which could have threatened his career had he continued to play. Instead, Flanagan will miss at least six months.
The 6-5, 297-pound Flanagan, a ninth-year veteran out of UCLA, earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2003, when the Packers rushed for a team-record 2,558 yards and allowed 19 sacks, a franchise low for a 16-game season. The debilitating tendinitis is the latest obstacle the highly respected Flanagan will need to overcome. A third-round selection in the 1996 draft, Flanagan broke his leg during his rookie preseason, an injury that wiped out most of his first three NFL campaigns. The starting center since 2001, he had played in 82 consecutive games (87 including playoffs). Sunday will mark the Packers' first game without Flanagan since Sept. 12, 1999.
Wells, the club's seventh-round selection in the 2004 draft, competed with Ruegamer for the backup center job during training camp. Waived in the final roster reduction Sept. 5, he re-signed to the practice squad two days later and now makes his first appearance on a 53-man NFL roster.