Moll returning just in time

Look for versatile second-year pro to start at right guard against Chargers

The Green Bay Packers may enter their Week 3 game against the San Diego Chargers with another new starter at right guard. Tony Moll, who has been sidelined since early in training camp with a neck stinger, will return to practice this week. It is very possible that Moll will take over where the ineffective Junius Coston left off Sunday against the New York Giants.

Coston, filling in for the injured Jason Spitz, struggled in his first career start. The Packers again had trouble rushing the ball, and the line left little room for the backs to run. The Packers averaged 2.9 yards per carry on the ground, though, the line did not allow Brett Favre to be sacked.

Spitz has been hobbled by a calf injury that he sustained late in training camp. He played a little against the Giants when Chad Clifton temporarily left the game with an ankle injury, but it doesn't appear that Spitz will be ready to return to start this Sunday.

It is very possible that Moll will start at right guard against San Diego. The versatile Moll started 10 of 16 games last season, including five games at right guard. He was ahead of Coston as the team's swing lineman early in training camp until he sustained a stinger during a practice.

Moll did not suit up for Green Bay's first two games, but is returning to practice, beginning Wednesday, and may be in line to start if Spitz is unable to go.

"We're definitely down right now," Moll said. "We have a bunch of nicks and small injuries with some guys. I guess you could say it's perfect timing."

The Packers lost guard Tony Palmer during Sunday's game. Palmer sustained a small bone fracture in his neck, according to coach Mike McCarthy, and will be out indefinitely.

Coston, whom Moll beat out last season to serve as the team's swing lineman, may not get another chance to start as long as Moll is ready to go.

"For his first time he was very competitive," said offensive coordinator Joe Philbin about Coston. "I thought he played well. He had a couple of quarterback hits that we need to work on and eliminate those. The guy plays hard. He did a nice job on the power play. We ran the power play three, four times. He fit into that scheme real nicely."

Asked if Coston will get another start this Sunday, Philbin said, "I don't know about that. We're going to see how Spitz's health is, and make a decision as we go."

If Spitz is not ready to start, look for Moll to step in at right guard in an effort to get Green Bay's rushing attack in gear.

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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