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Packers Fill Out Practice Squad, Re-Sign Leach, Add Receiver


The Green Bay Packers Wednesday completed their eight-man practice squad, signing wide receiver Andrae Thurman and re-signing fullback Vonta Leach, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.

Thurman, 23, is a 5-11, 192-pound rookie out of Southern Oregon. He signed May 7 as a non-drafted free agent with the N.Y. Giants, who then waived him June 22. Claimed on waivers by the Texans July 1, Thurman spent training camp in Houston until the club waived him Aug. 31. A versatile skills player, Thurman this preseason for the Texans caught three passes for 15 yards, and carried once for 5 yards.

Leach, whose first name is pronounced VON-tay, re-signed to the practice squad after the club on Monday waived him and linebacker Tyreo Harrison to make room for linebacker Nick Rogers and tight end Sean McHugh, claimed on waivers. Leach, a 6-0, 246-pound rookie out of East Carolina, played in all four preseason games, catching two passes for 12 yards and posting three special-teams tackles.

Thurman will wear No. 19, while Leach will remain in No. 48.

Six of the eight players on the Packers' largest-ever practice squad were in camp with the team this summer: Safety Julius Curry of Michigan, guard/tackle Atlas Herrion of Alabama, wide receiver/kick returner Kelvin Kight of Florida, quarterback Scott McBrien of Maryland, center/guard Scott Wells of Tennessee, and Leach.

The two newcomers are Thurman and tight end Ben Steele, a 6-5, 248-pound tight end out of Mesa State. A first-year player, Steele was in camp with the Vikings until Minnesota recently waived him.

The NFL expanded practice squads from five to eight players this offseason.

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