Depleted D-line Gets Help

Because of injuries to their reserve defensive tackles, the Packers signed free agent Harry Deligianis on Sunday.

Deligianis (6-foot-4, 304 pounds) has never played in a regular season game since he was drafted in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL draft out of Youngstown State by Jacksonville. In the meantime, he has been in training camps of the following NFL teams: Cincinnati, Detroit, Carolina and Pittsburgh.

Deligianis was acquired because the Packers waived tackle Matt Keneley, who suffered a back injury on Aug. 15 in practice. Keneley, who was signed by the Packers two days before he was injured, agreed to an injury settlement with the team and was released. Keneley replaced Jon Krick, who suffered a herniated disc during Green Bay's first exhibition against Cleveland and was waived. Krick replaced Carl Bradley a few days prior to the first exhibition game after Bradley injured his knee during the team's intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 4. Bradley had surgery on Aug. 7, agreed to an injury settlement, and was released.

Because one of their roster exemptions for NFL Europe players expired on Aug. 13, the Packers waived tight end Stevan Fontana. Fontana played for the Scottish Claymores this offseason. He was signed on July 18 along with linebacker Donnie Spragan (Amsterdam Admirals).

The Packers have three NFL Europe exemptions which expire Sept. 2 when all NFL teams have to trim their rosters to 53 players. Besides Spragan, the other players on Green Bay's roster who played in NFL Europe this spring are tight end Adam Newman and linebacker London Dunlap.

Waived by Jacksonville August 26, 1998, Deligianis was claimed by Cincinnati and subsequently waived August 30, and signed to the Bengals' practice squad, remaining there until September 24. He then was on Detroit's practice squad October 9 and released October 20 before joining Chicago's practice squad for two weeks (December 2-15).

In 1999, he signed with Carolina February 10 and remained with the Panthers through the preseason, being waived in the final roster cutdown for the regular season September 5. Signed to the Carolina practice squad for a week (September 8-14), he subsequently joined Pittsburgh's practice squad December 14, remaining with the Steelers until January 10.

Deligianis re-signed with Carolina June 29, 2000, was on the Panthers' roster until the final roster reduction for the regular season August 25 and then out of football for the balance of the season. He again re-signed with Carolina on March 8, 2001, and was subsequently waived August 13.

As a collegian, Deligianis registered 17 quarterback sacks and 18 tackles for loss among 54 stops in 14 games as a senior (1997) and was named Gateway Conference "Defensive Player of the Year" after helping Youngstown State capture a NCAA Division 1-AA national championship.

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