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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Packers release backup quarterback following loss to Seattle...

The Green Bay Packers released quarterback Graham Harrell on Saturday, following their 17-10 loss the previous evening to the Seattle Seahawks. The move opens a path for Vince Young to become Aaron Rodger’s backup this season. Young was impressive in the loss to Seattle, leading an 11-play, 80-yard drive and throwing a touchdown pass.

The 30-year-old quarterback will likely see a majority of the action in Friday’s preseason finale game against Kansas City. Head Coach Mike McCarthy says Young is taking full advantage of the opportunity.

The Seahawks escaped Lambeau Field with a win despite a quagmire of mistakes.

Both teams combined for 36 penalties in the game.

With the game tied, Seahawks quarterback Brady Quinn sealed the win on a 42-yard touchdown pass with just under nine minutes to play

Once again, the first-team offense was unable to find the end zone. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 4 of 7 for 41 yards in passing, while rookie running back Eddie Lacy had eight carries for negative five yards.

Packers will look to work out those offensive woes by Thursday, when the team travels to Arrowhead Stadium for the final preseason game against Kansas City.

Third kicker signed

The Green Bay Packers signed a third kicker over the weekend to challenge incumbent Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio in the final week of training camp.

Rookie free agent Zach Ramirez was given a try-out and did so well that the Packers signed him for at least this week. Coach Mike McCarthy said it reflects how management feels about the kicking situation.

In McCarthy’s words, “Someone needs to jump through the door and take it. That hasn’t happened yet.”

The Packers called Ramirez last Thursday, after Crosby missed three straight field goal attempts for the third time at camp.

Ramirez last played in college at Portland State, where he tore a ligament in his kicking leg during his senior year. He has since recovered. He made 10 of 11 kicks at practice Sunday.

Ramirez’s only miss came from 53 yards out.

Crosby also hit 10 of 11 yesterday. Tavecchio made nine of 11 attempts.

Nelson and Cobb return

Packers receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb returned to practice Sunday. Both are coming off injuries and are trying to get in shape for the regular season which begins in 13 days at San Francisco.

Nelson missed three weeks with what was reported to be a minor nerve problem in one of his knees.

Cobb has been dealing with an injured right biceps during most of training camp. He has practiced on-and-off, but has not played in an exhibition game.

Coach Mike McCarthy is not ruling out either Nelson or Cobb for Thursday night’s pre-season finale at Kansas City. The starters normally play only one series in the final exhibition to avoid further risk of injuries as the regular season gets closer.

Running back DuJuan Harris missed practice for the first time in two weeks on Sunday after he re-injured a knee in Friday night’s exhibition loss to Seattle. McCarthy did not have an update on Harris’ condition yesterday.

Badgers prepare for U Mass

The Wisconsin football team is getting ready for its season opener on Saturday in Madison against Massachusetts.

Coach Gary Andersen has still not named his starting quarterback yet, and that’s the not the only job still up in the air.

Fifth-year senior Conor O’Neill is competing with junior Derek Landisch for the second inside linebacker spot next to Chris Borland. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda says both will get a lot of playing time, regardless of who starts. Aranda says both O’Neill and Landisch have competed hard for the starting spot, battling each day.

Former Marquette star dies

Former Marquette and NBA player Dean Meminger was found dead in a Manhattan hotel room Sunday. The 65-year-old guard was found unconscious and unresponsive at the Hamilton Heights Hotel. He was pronounced dead at an emergency room.

Police say there were no signs of trauma and are still investigating his death.

Meminger played for Marquette in the early 1970s, averaging 6.1 points per game and had a 78-9 record in three seasons with the Golden Eagles.

He was drafted by the Knicks in 1971 and helped lead the team to an NBA title in 1973.

After his playing career, Meminger was a coach in the WNBA, college and other semi-pro leagues until 2004.

Marquette Athletic Director Mike Broeker says he’s saddened by the loss of “one of the greatest players in the storied history of Marquette University basketball.”

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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