The Green Bay Packers can sleep a bit more soundly in their dorm rooms at St. Norbert College tonight, as the elbow injury suffered by third-year offensive tackle/guard Mark Tauscher during Tuesday's morning practice was deemed not as significant as once feared.
"He has a contusion of his forearm, it's not (ligament related) like I originally said it was, that's why I don't like to jump out there and say those things," GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said following the afternoon practice. "It's just a bruise on his forearm. It hit a nerve and went up to his arm and scared him a little bit, scared us, but he's going to be fine.
"I don't know the length of his injury just yet, we'll have to wait and see. Knowing Tauscher, it won't last very long."
Tauscher's injury was suffered during the team's four-minute offense period Tuesday morning, when he took an inadvertent helmet to his elbow, according to Sherman. Originally described as a hyperextension or sprain, Sherman had feared that Tauscher might have suffered ligament damage, equating it to the knee injury sustained last week by wide receiver Terry Glenn.
Sherman was unable to comment on how long the injury would keep Tauscher sidelined.
"I haven't seen the young man since he went to the hospital and had the X-ray, so I don't know," he said. "Tauscher's a very different type of guy, he'll probably be out here as soon as he can, so I can't really say right now. All I was concerned about was if there was a fracture or (ligament damage) and it was neither one of (those), so it's good news."
Tauscher's injury only further depletes an already thin offensive line, which lost starting center Mike Flanagan to a broken thumb August 2. Ten-year veteran Earl Dotson is slated to be Tauscher's primary backup at tackle, but is recovering from an injured knee and has yet to see time in training camp.
Although Dotson is expected to return to practice as early as Wednesday, if Tauscher is unable to play in this weekend's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Packers will likely look to Kevin Barry, a 6-4, 325-pound rookie out of the University of Arizona, who has been praised for his rapid development during camp.
"He got a lot of work today and did a very, very good job," Sherman said of Barry. "The kid is well ahead of the learning curve physically and mentally. He's doing a very good job, so if Tausch can't go this weekend -- that may be speculative at this point -- Barry will do a heck of a job."