Francois Joins 53; Two to P. Squad

The team worked out five linebackers on Tuesday as well as hometown running back Aaron Stecker. They didn't sign Stecker but they did add linebacker Mike Rivera and safety Michael Greco to the practice squad.

An update to last night's story: The Packers promoted linebacker Robert Francois from the practice squad to the active roster and placed safety Derrick Martin (ankle) on season-ending injured reserve.

Plus, the team released linebacker Johnny Williams from the practice squad and signed linebacker Mike Rivera and safety Michael Greco to the practice squad. Those moves were announced on Wednesday morning by the team.

Francois will add depth at inside linebacker, where the Packers were down to A.J. Hawk, Desmond Bishop and former indoor player Maurice Simpkins last week. Brandon Chillar will begin practicing today on a trial basis to test his injured shoulder. Nick Barnett is having surgery on his wrist today.

The Green Bay Packers took a pass on local product Aaron Stecker but signed linebacker Mike Rivera and safety Michael Greco to their practice squad, sources told Packer Report.

Rivera (6-foot-2, 252 pounds) was signed by Chicago as an undrafted free agent in 2009 but spent the season on the Titans' practice squad. He failed to make the roster this summer.

Rivera, a three-year starter at Kansas and three-time all-academic selection in the Big 12, was an honorable mention on the all-Big 12 team as a junior and senior, when he played outside linebacker. He had 300 tackles — including 26 for losses and 6.5 sacks — during his career.

At his pro day, he ran his 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds with a 38.5-inch vertical leap.

The 34-year-old Stecker, who grew up near Lambeau Field in Ashwaubenon, retired after an 11-year NFL career. Stecker worked out for the Packers last year, when they signed Ahman Green. Stecker, however, would like to make a comeback and could have upgraded the Packers' suddenly horrendous kickoff return team. He averaged 23.1 yards on 170 career kickoff returns, with one touchdown.

Rivera was one of five linebackers to be worked out on Tuesday, with the others being Mississippi State's Dominic Douglas (four games for Rams in 2009), Louisiana-Monroe's Cardia Jackson (undrafted 2010; in Rams camp), Nebraska's Steve Octavien (16 games for Dallas in 2008 and 2009) and Alcorn State's Lee Robinson (undrafted 2009; stints on Arizona and Tampa Bay practice squads).

Greco played quarterback for three years at Central Florida. As a senior, he moved to safety, making eight starts for the Golden Knights' league-leading defense. He went undrafted and spent training camp with the Giants.

The addition of a safety may signal the promotion of Anthony Levine but that has not been settled.

To make room on the practice squad, a source said they released linebacker Johnny Robinson.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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