Several players being shopped: Moll, Peprah, Rouse on block

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Green Bay Packers have been shopping several players heading into the deadline for mandatory roster cuts Saturday. Several league personnel sources said that among the players the Packers have been shopping are tackle Tony...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Green Bay Packers have been shopping several players heading into the deadline for mandatory roster cuts Saturday.

Several league personnel sources said that among the players the Packers have been shopping are tackle Tony Moll and safeties Charlie Peprah and Aaron Rouse. All three would be candidates to be released when the Packers have to trim their roster from 75 to 53.

It's not unusual for the Packers to make calls around the league to see if there would be interest in making a trade. Their hope would be that a team low on the waiver priority list would want one of the players they're offering and be willing to trade a draft pick to cut in front of the other teams.

At least two linemen are being shopped by the Packers and presumably one of the others is center Scott Wells, who lost a training camp competition with Jason Spitz for a starting spot. However, none of the scouts specifically identified Wells as trade bait.

If Moll is on the block, it indicates that the Packers are considering releasing him and want to see if they can get compensation instead. Of the backup linemen, Wells has the most trade value, but the Packers would have to get a strong offer for him because their only other option now to back up Spitz is rookie free agent Evan Deitrich-Smith.


Wells has started 54 games for the Packers and could be of value to the Seattle Seahawks, who will be without starting center Chris Spencer for several weeks. One scout said he thought Wells was still a viable starter and would be a much better option for the Seahawks.

Moll is the only other non-starter who might have trade value. But he has been wildly inconsistent this summer and hasn't established himself as a player the Packers must keep. He didn't help himself Thursday night against Tennessee by allowing a half sack from the left guard position, a spot he hasn't played in camp.

In previous years, Moll had to bounce around at right guard and right tackle, but this year he has been almost exclusively left tackle Chad Clifton's backup. If Moll is traded or cut, the Packers' only other true left tackle is rookie Jamon Meredith, who allowed his man to chip in on the sack in which Moll was beat.

If Clifton got hurt, more than likely they'd move left guard Daryn Colledge to left tackle and insert rookie T.J. Lang at left guard.

In the case of the safeties, the Packers will keep only four and have established a pecking order of Nick Collins, Atari Bigby, Anthony Smith and Jarrett Bush. Peprah is one of the team's top special teams players, but Smith has been solid in that area and would make up for his absence.

Peprah has been sidelined since Aug. 22 with soreness in his left knee and there has been no indication he will return soon.

Rouse was competing for a spot in the top four when he suffered a right hamstring pull Aug. 20. He has not practiced since then and the coaches will have only one exhibition on which to judge his performance in coordinator Dom Capers' new 3-4 system.

There's always the possibility that Rouse will be put on injured reserve, but coach Mike McCarthy told the team's television crew in a production meeting before the game that Rouse might be able to practice next week.


If the coaches think he doesn't fit their system, they'll trade him or let him go. Safeties coach Darren Perry has been on the 6-4 Rouse all summer about playing with more knee bend and lower pad level to improve his tackling.

Injury report

Cornerback Brandon Underwood, who started the game, was taken off the field twice, once when he got the wind knocked out of him and later when he suffered a neck stinger after colliding with Titans running back Chris Henry.

Defensive lineman B.J. Raji, who made his first appearance at nose tackle, also left the game in the second quarter after suffering a right ankle injury. Raji wouldn't talk after the game, but McCarthy said he's hopeful it's not serious.

"I don't have anything to believe that it is serious," he said.

Smith suffered a blow to the head and had to leave the field. However, he was cleared and returned before the first half ended. The trainers took his helmet away from him for the second half when it became clear Smith was suffering effects from a concussion.

After being sidelined the entire pre-season with a back injury, cornerback Pat Lee went out again when he hyperextended his left knee on a 41-yard kick return.

"Now I have to sit out a little bit again," Lee said. "I don't know how long. I hope it's like a week or so."


Streak ends

The No. 1 offense's string of 12 straight possessions without a punt ended on the first series.

Aaron Rodgers failed to get a first down in his only series at quarterback, marking the first time this exhibition season the starters haven't done so. The first string had scored nine touchdowns in 12 possessions after three games.

Handing over the reins

McCarthy did not call the plays on offense, choosing to let offensive coordinator Joe Philbin handle the duties.

McCarthy calls all the plays during the season, but Philbin is involved in game-planning, and the two discuss plays over the headset during games. Philbin relayed the plays to quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who radioed them in to the quarterback.


Eight players did not suit up for the Packers.


They were: CB Charles Woodson (rest), CB Al Harris (rest), CB / RET Will Blackmon (thigh), RB Brandon Jackson (ankle), WR Greg Jennings (head), DT Justin Harrell, Peprah and Rouse.

-- Copyright (c) 2009, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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