Notebook: Tauscher Probable; Injury List Shortens

text - More Audio | Video | Packers-Panthers Game Center Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 16


Offensive tackle Mark Tauscher sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday with his ankle injury but returned for the early portion of Friday's practice and is listed as probable for Sunday's game.

Tauscher hurt his ankle in the second half of last week's win over Minnesota and was putting in a lot of time in rehab this week to heal up. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he just wanted to use the opening jog-through portion of Friday's practice to gauge how Tauscher was moving around, and everything seemed OK.

With 48 hours between the end of Friday's practice and Sunday's kickoff, McCarthy said he anticipates Tauscher playing, and Tauscher said he has no doubts he'll be ready to go.

"It went all right," Tauscher said of his brief workout in practice. "You want to just try to get as must rest as you can on it, but you have to do some stuff to make sure that you're able to function, and I'm definitely able to do that."

Normally it's difficult for players to be prepared to play when they essentially haven't practiced and worked on the specifics of the game plan that week, but with Tauscher an eight-year veteran, his experience carries the day.

"You can kind of understand what you need to do to get ready, and how much you have to go through," he said. "Also the experience factor helps, just the fact that you know what you're doing."

It also appears left guard Daryn Colledge will be able to play. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday when his back flared up, but he was a full participant on Friday and is listed as probable.

Left tackle Chad Clifton, who as usual missed some practice time this week to rest his knees, also returned to full duty on Friday and is probable.

That means in all likelihood the Packers' starting offensive line on Sunday will be the same one as last week against Minnesota. That group of Clifton, Colledge, center Scott Wells, right guard Jason Spitz and Tauscher has started only one other game, the season opener against Philadelphia, with all the shuffling due primarily to injuries.

Healing up

In the past two days, the Packers have removed eight players - safety Aaron Rouse, fullback Korey Hall, defensive end Jason Hunter, linebacker Brady Poppinga, defensive tackle Justin Harrell, cornerback Al Harris, offensive lineman Tony Moll and receiver Koren Robinson - from the injury report, and all are expected to be available.

{sportsad300}Of those remaining on the report (other than the offensive linemen mentioned above), cornerback Charles Woodson (hip), tight end Donald Lee (rib) and defensive end Cullen Jenkins (knee) were full participants in practice and are listed as probable.

Backup linebacker and special teams ace Tracy White (ankle) did not participate in Friday's practice and is doubtful for the game. White originally injured his ankle two weeks ago at Kansas City but returned to play last week against Minnesota. McCarthy said White's ankle was worse after the Minnesota game than it was the previous week.

White's likely replacement on the special teams units will be rookie linebacker Desmond Bishop.

Short week coming up

After Sunday's game, the Packers will have just three days to recover and prepare for the Thanksgiving game in Detroit on Thursday.

McCarthy said the coaching staff will be getting a jump-start on the game plan for Detroit on Friday and Saturday this week and will wrap up the game plan on Monday. The players will lift weights and do some cardiovascular work on Monday to help speed their physical recovery from the game. They'll also watch game film on Monday before going through light practices Tuesday and Wednesday and then flying to Detroit on Wednesday afternoon.

McCarthy said to put together the plan during the spring he looked at the schedules that were used when he coached in Thanksgiving games twice with Kansas City (1995 at Dallas, 1996 at Detroit) and the schedule used late last season when the Packers played on a Thursday night just before Christmas.

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