Join me in rejoicing in Tauscher's return!
Now, pause. Tauscher is coming off of a torn ACL, which can take around a year to heal completely (he's been out for about 10 months). He also comes onto the roster five weeks into the season.
Almost everyone else on the roster went through mini-camps, training camps and preseason games. Tauscher has been going through rehab, and barely getting nibbles on the free agency market.
He recently tried out for the Chiefs, but never received a contract offer. Looking at that, it is more obvious than ever that the Packers' offensive line lacks talent. A now 0-5 team has given up 14 sacks—six fewer than the Packers over four games—and opted not to offer the Packers' proclaimed O-line "savior" a contract.
How game-ready can Tauscher really be? Will he really be able to outperform Allen Barbre right away?
Stop laughing, it's a serious question!
Barbre has at least had recent experience to try and catch up to game speed. Fans can't truly expect Tauscher to step in and return to his prime form. He's a year older, and has a serious knee injury under his belt now.
What fans (and Aaron Rodgers) truly want back, is having Clifton and Tauscher in the tackle spots at full strength. This week (if Clifton returns and Tauscher starts), each would be coming back from a leg injury, and may not be at 100%.
Lucky for Green Bay, they play the Lions at home.
Although seemingly late, the Packers have brought back Tauscher at a good time. With a 2-2 record, Green Bay can still make a strong push for the rest of the year.
With the Lions at home, Tauscher wouldn't be facing the premier pass rushers of other teams in his first week back (the Packers have yet to play the Cowboys, Ravens, and Steelers). He could get his feet wet again, and get more practice before facing the real test of other, harder defenses. Give him two weeks of practice and game time to see if he can build back up to full strength.
And so, while Packers fans (including me) have been clamoring for Tauscher's return, we may have to wait until Nov. 1 against Minnesota to see if he really is back.