Clearing up Tolzien's practice-squad status

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Contrary to what even he thought, Green Bay Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien still has practice-squad eligibility.

The NFL office confirmed that on Wednesday, and it has nothing to do with the changes that went into effect last week.

The part of the rule that applies to Tolzien states, in part, that "a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a practice squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons."

Citing that rule, a league spokesman said: "Tolzien is eligible to be on the practice squad. … While Tolzien does have three accrued seasons, he's never been on an active roster for nine or more games in any of those three [seasons]."

Tolzien has been on the 46-man game-day roster for 11 career games, but it was broken up over two seasons. He dressed for eight games last year with the Packers and three in 2012 with the San Francisco 49ers. Tolzien was on the 49ers roster for all of 2011, but was inactive for all 16 games that season.

Earlier this offseason, Tolzien said he did not think he had any practice-squad eligibility remaining.

His agent, Ethan Lock, said Wednesday that he was of the same belief until he closely examined the wording of the rules.

"According to that rule, the letter of the rule, he is," Lock said. "I hadn't given it much thought."

Tolzien is locked in a battle with Matt Flynn for the Packers’ backup job. Tolzien's practice-squad eligibility might be a moot point because the Packers may keep all three quarterbacks on the roster, given what they went through last season after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.

"I don't know if that particular instance would change us, but I think you know from experience what works and what doesn't," general manager Ted Thompson said. "Not just that position, but all positions. You try to be prepared for as much as you can be, but you can't for big surprises. Those are hard to overcome."