The Green Bay Packers Thursday re-signed defensive tackle Larry Smith, placed quarterback Doug Pederson on injured reserve and signed to their practice squad cornerback Kelvin Millhouse, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.
Smith, a 6-5, 292-pound lineman out of Florida State, rejoins the Packers for the second straight season. Like 2003, this year the Packers released him at the end of camp (Sept. 5) and brought him back after injuries to their interior defensive line. Last year after re-signing Oct. 9, Smith played in the final 12 games, including playoffs.
Pederson, a 12th-year veteran and the Packers' No. 2 quarterback for five of the last seven seasons (1998, 2001-04), sustained three injuries in Sunday's game vs. the Giants: a cracked bone (called the transverse process) in his back, a torn muscle in his side and a broken rib. Despite sustaining the injury in the third quarter, after a Giants player hit him just before he went out of bounds, Pederson stayed in the game, his 100th career NFL contest, until leaving just before the final snap.
The loss of Pederson, in the game while Brett Favre recovered from a concussion, means the Packers will not only have a new No. 2 quarterback Monday vs. Tennessee, but also a new holder. Craig Nall, a third-year player who led NFL Europe in passing efficiency and passing TDs in 2003, is the No. 2 quarterback. Punter Bryan Barker, a 15th-year veteran with several years experience at holding, assumes the Packers' holding job.
J.T. O'Sullivan, acquired Monday with a second-round draft pick from the Saints in the Mike McKenzie trade, is Green Bay's new No. 3 quarterback. Like Nall, O'Sullivan is a 2002 draft pick who experienced success in NFL Europe, leading Frankfurt to the league championship game this past summer. Favre will start his 194th consecutive game.
Pederson is the first quarterback on injured reserve since Ty Detmer nine years ago. At Minnesota on Nov. 5, 1995, Green Bay lost Detmer when he tore a thumb ligament on the Metrodome turf in relief of an injured Favre, and was replaced by No. 3 quarterback T.J. Rubley. After that disappointing loss in 1995, until Sunday the last time all three Green Bay QBs attempted a pass, the 5-4 Packers rebounded to win six of their last seven and advance to the NFC championship.
Millhouse, 23, is a 6-1, 208-pound rookie out of Hawaii. Originally a non-drafted free agent signed by Miami April 30, he spent exactly four months with the Dolphins, who waived him Aug. 30. Out of football since, he replaces Scott Wells on the eight-man practice squad. Green Bay promoted Wells Saturday, after placing starting center Mike Flanagan on injured reserve.