Notebook: Line finishes where it started

Starting five is same as when camp started; Crosby gets new snapper and holder; and more from Monday.

The Green Bay Packers' version of "Trading Places" has ended, with everyone back where they started five weeks ago.

The Packers' starting offensive line for the first day of training camp likely will be the starting offensive line for the Week 1 showdown against Minnesota: left tackle Chad Clifton, left guard Daryn Colledge, center Scott Wells, right guard Jason Spitz and right tackle Mark Tauscher.

Colledge warned not to read too much into who lined up with the starters on Monday, but it's clearly time to stop shuffling and star gelling.

"We've got a lot of guys that have bounced around," Colledge said. "We're just coming in day to day. So, we're going to show up to work. We're paid to practice and play, and they're paid to call the plays and make the roster."

The one thing that could throw a kink into the plans is Wells' health. He barely played this preseason after sustaining a back injury early in trading camp, and was injured midway through the first quarter of his preseason debut against San Francisco. Wells returned to practice Monday after sitting out last week's finale against Tennessee.

This starting fivesome also was the No. 1 group for much of last season. In theory, that experience should make the group better.

"You sure hope so," Tauscher said. "I think we have to go out and prove from a productivity standpoint that we are."

The line enters the Monday night opener against the Vikings with little continuity. That's less than ideal against Minnesota's formidable front four, but it won't excuse a subpar performance, Tauscher said.

"There's no excuses in this business," he said. "We're all paid to perform, regardless of what position you're put in. If we don't go out and perform well, it's not going to be, ‘Well, you know, we bounced around.' We're expected to go out and lineup where we're put and go out and play."

Throwing a kink into kicking game

After working all of training camp with J.J. Jansen snapping and Jon Ryan holding, kicker Mason Crosby must get comfortable with a new snapper-holder duo.

Jansen was placed on injured reserve on Saturday with a knee injury and Ryan was released in a surprise move on Monday.

"Jon was a great holder," Crosby said. "I never had to worry about it. Obviously, it's a trust you've got to build."

Working in the Packers' favor is they have five practices before the season opener.

"I'll just have to get that trust back with these guys really quick," said Crosby, who was the NFL's leading scorer as a rookie with Ryan holding last season. "It looked good today in practice. We're just going to have to get that operation ... we've got five practices to just work on that and make sure that we're solid coming into that first game."

Crosby said he's "not too picky" about his hold, but also said the combination of snap and hold is "the most important thing for my job."

"Obviously, the guys that they're bringing in, we're not going to have an issue," Crosby said. "They've done this before. They've got to just get that snap perfect and the hold. As long as it's on the spot and it's leaning right, I'm going to make sure I hit it through."

Roll call

Along with Wells, defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (hamstring) and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee) practiced. This was Pickett's first practice of the season. At one point during the 30 minutes reporters were allowed to watch practice, Gbaja-Biamila ran into the Don Hutson Center briefly with a noticeable limp.

Safety Atari Bigby (ankle), Clifton and Jeremy Thompson left practice after the jog-through portion.

Out were receiver James Jones, who was wearing a brace on his right knee, guard Josh Sitton (knee), linebackers A.J. Hawk (chest) and Tracy White (ankle) and safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring).

"We're going to wait till the end of the week," McCarthy said when asked about the injured players. "I'm learning from this experience. Long weeks, there are certain players that I will not work until the end of the week."

The Colledge try

With Wells recovering from his back injury and Junius Coston on injured reserve with a knee injury, Spitz is the only backup center. So, in case of emergency, Colledge was practicing his shotgun snaps.

"I'm the emergency quarterback actually, too," Colledge joked.

"Everybody's getting a little practice at everything, because you never know what might happen," Colledge added on a more serious note.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and E-mail him at

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