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Notebook: Tauscher Returns To Practice, Status Upgraded


Right tackle Mark Tauscher returned to practice on Thursday for the first time since injuring his groin back on Nov. 12 at Minnesota and has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable on the injury report.

Tauscher has missed the last four games, and earlier this week it was thought next Thursday's game against Minnesota would likely mark his return.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski wouldn't speculate on whether Tauscher would be ready to play on Sunday, but his return to practice, which included participating in individual and team drills, is a very encouraging sign.

"He did a nice job," Jagodzinski said. "I was real pleased with what he did today."

Jagodzinski said Tauscher's biggest challenge will be getting back to game speed after missing so much time.

"Just feeling OK and feeling confident enough he can go that hard," he said. "It's just his first day, so we'll wait and see (about Sunday)."

Receiver Donald Driver, who injured his shoulder last week at San Francisco but finished the game, also returned to practice on Thursday and it appears he'll be ready to play.

"He's a very tough guy," Jagodzinski said. "If you could have a whole team full of Donald Drivers, I tell you what, that's the guy you want. He's a special guy.

"I said in the meeting the other day in front of the whole offense, hey, practice like this guy. It's not a fluke he plays that way, he sets a good example."

Center Scott Wells also was back at practice after missing Wednesday's workout because of an illness.

Big guy missing

Detroit's Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers has been out since sustaining a season-ending knee injury in Week 6.

Rogers was a force in the middle, recording four solo tackles in the first meeting between the Packers and Lions this season, a high number for an interior lineman. He was the primary reason the Packers complied only 60 yards rushing in 27 attempts. His absence has certainly affected Detroit's defense, but will it change the Packers' approach?

"We probably don't have to put four guys on him anymore," Jagodzinski joked. "We'll have some guys blocking other people."

Kidding aside, the Packers still expect Detroit's defensive front to be stout, as it traditionally is. Defensive end Cory Redding has moved inside to take Rogers' place.

"They've had some experience with him out earlier in the year so guys have stepped in and had to play that position," Wells said. "So it's not like we're going against some green guys that have never played. They still have an excellent defense and we still have to execute our fundamentals."

{sportsad300}Chiefs owner Hunt dies

Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, died on Wednesday night of complications from prostate cancer. He was 74.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy broke into the NFL with Kansas City as an offensive assistant in 1993, working for Hunt.

"That is something I'll forever be thankful for," McCarthy said. "Lamar always knew everybody's name and created a sense of belonging and pride for his organization.

"He and his family exemplify the class of the National Football League. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hunt family for their loss."

Hunt was considered a pro sports visionary as one of the founders of the American Football League and one of the forces behind the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. He was credited with coining the phrase "Super Bowl."

"His vision transformed pro football and helped turn a regional sport into a national passion," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Lamar created a model franchise in the Kansas City Chiefs, but he was always equally devoted to the best interests of the league and the game, from the AFL-NFL merger to the two-point conversion. His legacy is unmatched in sports and the NFL -- a pioneer, a founding father, and one of the most important architects in the history of our game."

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