Rookie is ready

With center Grey Ruegamer's ankle still posing a question mark in the middle of the Packers' offensive line, rookie Scott Wells knows he may be the answer Sunday vs. Detroit.<P>

Wells handled every snap with the first-team offense this week as Ruegamer recuperates from a sprained left ankle suffered vs. Philadelphia.

"Being able to get all of the resp this week at practice helped out a lot, helped me pick up somethings, learn some things I didn't know," Wells said. If Ruegamer can't go, the start would be Wells' first as a pro.

"It's something I've dreamed about for a long time, to get my first start," Wells said.

Ruegamer's high ankle sprain will be evaluated again Saturday, with a decision not expected until right before game time. Sherman had indicated that even if Wells gets the start, Ruegamer will be active and possibly available.

Drafted in the seventh-round out of Tennessee, Wells started 49 games in four seasons with the Volunteers. Joining the Packers this season, it didn't look like he'd get another one anytime soon. Wells started the year on the practice squad with veteran Mike Flanagan and Ruegamer filling the roster spots.

Wells quickly got a promotion to the 53-man roster after Mike Flanagan's hope for a comeback from a chronic knee injury ended with surgery.

Ruegamer stepped into the starting role and played nine games, but had to exit early in last week's disheartening loss. Wells played the end of the first half and all of the second half.

"I don't have a hestiation playing with Wells," Sherman said after observing the rookie's game debut as well as his extensive practice time this week.

The possible start for Wells marks a first not only for him, but for quarterback Brett Favre as well. Favre has never taken a snap from a rookie in a regular-season game. Instead he's used to the likes of veterans like Frank Winters and Flanagan.

"You have to start sometime," Favre said. "He'll do fine."

At 6-2, 300 pounds, Wells may face a size disadvantage against the Lions' considerable defensive line which features tackle Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson.

"I feel polished and I feel ready if they need me to step up athere and, hopefully, play the game of my life," Wells said.


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