Green Bay Packers tackle Mark Tauscher was put on injured reserve last week after the Packers decided he wouldn’t be able to fully recover from a shoulder injury.
Tauscher has been out since the injury occurred in week four and although he’s been progressing, he would have had to play with a harness if he were to play again, this season. Instead, doctors determined surgery would be the best course of action and ended his season.
On Monday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke of Tauscher’s career (as well as cornerback Al Harris’) in the past tense, which is the first definitive sign he’s played his last game for the team.
“Mark has had a tremendous career here. They bring so much experience, both to the field and to the locker room. Yes, that’s part of it, but it’s also the path of our season. Injuries do occur, decisions are made, and we’re always going to operate and do what is in the best interests of the Green Bay Packers from the chairs that we sit in,” McCarthy said. “But Al Harris and Mark Tauscher have been excellent Packers and we appreciate that, but at some point careers do come to an end and you move on and you appreciate what they have done. Mark will continue to do so and be a part of our football team.”
The admission isn’t terribly surprising. Tauscher is 33 years old. Including the 12 games he’ll miss this season, Tauscher will have missed 23 games due to injury over the past three years.
That, of course, says nothing of his play. Although Tauscher was a steadying influence for the Packers’ offensive line last season, when the coaching staff foolishly tried to pose Allen Barbre as an NFL-caliber right tackle to start the season, he’s played more like Barbre than vintage Mark Tauscher, this season.
While rookie Bryan Bulaga has had his ups and downs starting in place of the veteran, he’s at least gaining valuable experience, which means the Packers won’t have to rely on a player who’s injury-prone and seemingly, well past his prime, next season.
Unfortunately for Tauscher, his Packers’ and most likely NFL career will end on the shelf, rather than the field.