Packers Put DE Johnson On I.R., Sign CB Westbrook To Active Roster, DBs Franz, Jennings And OL White


The Green Bay Packers have put defensive end Joe Johnson on injured reserve and signed veteran defensive back Bryant Westbrook, a former Detroit Lion and Dallas Cowboy, to replace him on the team's active roster, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Wednesday.

Johnson suffered a torn triceps, a season-ending injury, during the Packers' 34-21 victory over the Chicago Bears Monday night.

In other transactions, wide receiver Corey Parchman, defensive end John Gilmore and offensive lineman Al Jackson have been terminated from the practice squad and replaced by defensive backs Todd Franz and Brandon Jennings and offensive lineman Mitch White.

Westbrook, 6-0, 201 pounds and a sixth-year pro, was Detroit's first round selection in the 1997 draft (the fifth player chosen) and spent his first five NFL seasons as a starting cornerback with the Lions, making 54 starts in 64 games. Over that span, he posted 12 interceptions, 71 passes defensed and 242 tackles, 208 of them unassisted. He had a career-high 6 interceptions in 2000, returning them 126 yards.

The 27-year-old University of Texas product's contract expired following the 2001 season and he signed on with Dallas March 25, 2002, continuing with the Cowboys through training camp and the regular season before being placed on waivers September 13.

Jennings, 6-0 and 190 pounds, is a third-year pro out of Texas A&M who played in eight regular-season games - making four tackles - and two playoff contests for Oakland in 2001, posting two stops in the latter. He made 47 starts in four college seasons at Texas A&M, leading the Aggies with a career-best 94 tackles as a senior.

The 6-foot, 194-pound Franz, originally a fifth-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions out of the University of Tulsa in 2000, previously spent the 2002 training camp and preseason with the Packers, posting 4 solo tackles, 1 interception and 2 passes defensed. He was placed on waivers in the team's final roster reduction for the regular season and subsequently spent the first week of the season on the team's practice squad before being terminated.

Released by in training camp by Detroit as a rookie in 2000, he signed on with New Orleans August 28, 2000, and later played in five regular season games before being waived October 10. He later joined the Cleveland Browns as a free agent (November 14) and played in two games. Released by Cleveland during training camp in 2001 (August 3), he was out of football until being signed to the Jets' practice squad on January 9, 2002. Allocated to the Scottish Claymores of the NFL Europe League last spring, he played in all 10 games during the league's '02 season, with four starts, registering 36 tackles and 8 passes defensed, along with 1 interception which he returned 33 yards for a touchdown.

White, 6-4 and 311 pounds, originally was a sixth-round draft selection of New Orleans in the 2001 draft after starting all 23 games of his two-year Oregon State career at right tackle. He made the Saints' opening day roster and was inactive for the first nine regular-season games before being waived. Re-signed by New Orleans February 12, 2002, he returned to training camp with the Saints and later was waived in the team's final cutdown for the regular season September 2. He subsequently was signed to the New York Jets' practice squad September 17 and terminated October 7.

Westbrook has been assigned jersey No. 32, Jennings No. 29, Franz No. 49 and White No. 79.

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