Packers' Tauscher is Done in Green Bay

M. S.Correspondent IMay 12, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16:  Offensive tackle Mark Tauscher #65 of the Green Bay Packers is ready to protect the line of scrimmage against the Chicago Bears during NFL action at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2008 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 37-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The date was April 16th, 2000. Mel Kiper Jr. was listing off scouting reports of players no other analyst could tell you squat about, and the Green Bay Packers were on the board.

223 players and 15 tackles had been selected, including Chad Clifton by the Packers, but the Packers decided to pull the trigger on the home grown talent of a tackle out of the University of Wisconsin.

Mark Tauscher.

Nine years later, Tauscher had become one of the biggest fan favorites on the team with his consistent play, long flowing hair, and babyface smile.  He was always overshadowed by Chad Clifton despite being one of the best right tackles in football, and in eight years with the Green and Gold, started from Day One and missed just 22 of a potential 128 games. 

Not bad for a seventh rounder.

However, in Week 13 of the 2008 season, Tauscher suffered a torn ACL and was lost for the season.  It was terrible timing for the now 32-year-old Wisconsin native as he is an unrestricted free agent this year. 

Doctors have told Tauscher that he will not be ready until mid-October, which would put the Packers six weeks into the regular season.

As hard as it is to say, it looks like the Packers have moved on from their loveable tackle.  If there was ever an example of a move that was strictly business, this would be it.  Outside of Brett Favre, no Packer player ever received a louder cheer when introduced in the starting lineup.

Last year, the Packers kept eight offensive linemen on their roster, Tauscher included.  This year, not including Tauscher, the Packers already have ten offensive linemen that are more than capable of being on the roster.  That list includes the projected starters (from left to right): Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, Josh Sitton, Allen Barbre, the back-ups in Breno Giacomini, Tony Moll, Scott Wells, and Duke Preston, and this year’s rookies T.J. Lang and Jamon Meredith.

There has never been any talk of re-signing Tauscher as they want to see him fully healed before they give money to an aging right tackle who is coming off his worst year in a Packers uniform, as well as a serious knee injury.

If there is one thing that Packers fans know, it's that injuries do happen (especially last year).  If the Packers suffer more than one injury on the offensive line and they start scrambling people around, it is always nice to know that Tauscher is potentially there for you.  It would not make much sense for other teams to take a chance on him and only the Packers have been publicly talking to him and asking for updates on his knee.

It could be a sad end for one of the better offensive linemen the Packers have seen in quite some time, and replacing him on the field and off the field will be no easy task.

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