The Green Bay Packers have placed offensive tackle Mark Tauscher on injured reserve and signed free agent running back Maurice "Moe" Smith, the Atlanta Falcons' leading rusher in 2001, to replace him on the 53-man active roster, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Wednesday.
Tauscher suffered a season-ending knee injury in last weekend's game at New Orleans and is scheduled to undergo surgery for repair of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Smith, a third-year professional, started 12 out of 16 games for Atlanta last season and emerged as the Falcons' leading rusher 760 yards in 237 attempts, a 3.2-yard average, and 5 touchdowns, assuming full-time duties after Jamal Anderson was lost in Week Three with a knee injury. He also was Atlanta's second-leading scorer with 36 points on 6 touchdowns (one receiving) and seventh-leading receiver with 19 catches for 230 yards, a 12.1-yard average.
The 6-foot, 235-pound Smith, signed as a free agent out of North Carolina A&T in 2000, made the Atlanta roster following a strong preseason showing as a rookie when he led the Falcons in rushing with 150 yards and a 4.4 per-carry average.
Smith, who has been assigned jersey No. 43, will join the Packers on the practice field Thursday.