Notebook: Wells rejoins starting lineup

Ten players on injury report, but not Grant; Packers lose Haynos; and more from Wednesday as the Packers begin preparations for their Week 4 game at Tampa Bay.

The Packers' new starting center is their old starting center.

Scott Wells, who missed three of the four preseason games and the first three regular-season games with low-back troubles, will be in the starting lineup on Sunday at Tampa Bay, coach Mike McCarthy announced after Wednesday's practice.

Wells, who practiced all of last week but did not play against Dallas, was back at center at practice on Wednesday. Fill-in center Jason Spitz moved to right guard — where he made seven of his 14 starts last season — making Tony Moll the odd man out.

The shakeup comes after the Packers yielded five sacks in the 27-16 loss to Dallas last week.

While Spitz has started at center the last three games, he continued taking reps at right guard in practice, so he returns to the position without a giant amount of rust to shake off.

"There's an adjustment, obviously. It's such a finite game, and yet you have to be so precise to be successful," Spitz said. "The more reps you get at one spot, the better you become at it. The more looks you get playing the position, the more proficient you become in executing your job."

McCarthy, however, said he wouldn't be afraid to rotate Moll and second-year pro Allen Barbre onto the field at times.

"Everyone wants to go out and play with the iron-five approach, for the continuity," McCarthy said. "I think that's what everybody seeks. But I think our situation is such that we've had some guys bumped and bruised and we've had some things that have caused us to make sure we're having six, seven, eight of our guys ready to go. I don't want to stop the development or the flexibility of that, so if we do do it, it would be in a very limited sense."

Packers injury report

The Packers listed 10 players on their initial injury report of the week. One of them is not running back Ryan Grant, who had been held to one practice a week during the first three weeks of the season because of a tight hamstring.

"Full participant today," McCarthy said of Grant's practice. "He was a little rough today. I'm not going to deny that. He needs a full week of work, but we've got to be smart, too. We'll take it day-to-day."

Out: Cornerback Al Harris (spleen).

Did not participate: Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring); cornerback Charles Woodson (toe); fullback Korey Hall (knee); running back Kregg Lumpkin (hamstring).

Limited participation: Tackle Chad Clifton (knees); safety Nick Collins (back); receiver James Jones (knee); safety Aaron Rouse (knee); guard Josh Sitton (knee).

Buccaneers injury report

The Buccaneers also listed 10 players on their initial injury report of the week, though four of those were for noninjury reasons. One of those was kicker Matt Bryant, whose infant son Matthew Tyson Bryant died unexpectedly.

"We had a terrible tragedy this morning," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "We lost a key member of our family. Matt Bryant and Melissa lost their youngest son. I don't have a lot of details but ... it's hard. Our prayers go out to the Bryants."

Did not participate: fullback B.J. Askew (hamstring); receiver Joey Galloway (foot); guard Ryan Sims (groin); punter Josh Bidwell; Bryant.

Limited participation: linebacker Derrick Brooks (hamstring); running back Warrick Dunn (not injury related); quarterback Brian Griese (not injury related); guard Davin Joseph (foot).

Full participation: cornerback Aquib Talib (hamstring).

Safety first

With Bigby, Collins and Rouse banged up, the Packers are short-handed at safety. That leaves only Charlie Peprah, whose lack of top-line speed was exploited against Dallas, and Jarrett Bush, who also plays cornerback.

"I like the depth there. I like the depth of our safety positions," McCarthy said. "I feel we have four very good players there, and Jarrett Bush is natural back there, frankly. We're going to rotate all of those guys in and make sure they are ready. Everybody deals with it. Injuries come in different forms and different times of the year, so that's kind of where we are."

Bringing the heat

It's supposed to be 87 on Sunday in Tampa, and adding to the challenge is the possibility of the Buccaneers using a no-huddle offense, like they ran effectively against the Bears last week.

"It's a possibility," Gruden told reporters in Tampa.

Fortunately for the Packers, Mother Nature is doing the team a favor by delivering some unseasonably warm weather to Green Bay.

"We're aware of it," McCarthy said, expecting the Bucs to use some no-huddle on Sunday. "We have a very positive experience that we went through Miami two years ago, caught a very hot day down there, I think it was in early November. So, we'll be ready."

Packers lose Haynos

The Packers liked tight end Joey Haynos, but not enough for the 6-foot-8, rail-thin tight end to take a spot on the 53-man roster.

The Dolphins, however, did, and they signed Haynos away from Green Bay's practice squad. To make room, they released running back Jalen Parmele, a sixth-round pick from Toledo.

"Haynos is a young tight end that we really thought a lot of and is a guy that I think can help us as we get going here," Miami coach Tony Sparano said. "He's a pass catcher, those type of things."

The Packers signed defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe to fill the void. The 6-foot-3, 329-pound Bledsoe is an undrafted rookie from Arkansas. The Packers considered signing him after the draft, but he needed arthroscopic ankle surgery.

Bledsoe started his Razorbacks career on the defensive line, shifted to the offensive line during his sophomore season to help an injury-plagued unit, then moved back to defense. The move perhaps derailed his career; after playing 11 games as a true freshman, he played in just one as a junior. As a senior, he played in 13 games with two starts — the only two starts of his career — tallying 36 tackles (22 solo), four tackles for loss and one quarterback hit.

While the Packers need bodies on the defensive line, they didn't want to lose Haynos, who was unstoppable at times during training camp because of his height.

"I had a long conversation with Joe before he left," McCarthy said. "It's unfortunate. You never want to lose a good, young prospect. I thought he had a very bright future here. But he made the decision to go to Miami, and I just wished him the best."

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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