Kicker Added to Squad

The Green Bay Packers have signed placekicker James Tuthill as a free agent today. Tuthill fills the roster vacancy created by the release of cornerback Keith Thibodeaux on Tuesday.

It is possible that the Packers will use Tuthill on kickoffs against the Atlanta Falcons. Ryan Longwell has been kicking off, but the Packers have had trouble covering kickoffs this season. The Packers are allowing opponents to begin drives at the 27.5 yard line on average, 11th in the NFC.

Tuthill, 6-2 and 251 pounds, a 25-year-old Cal Poly-SLO alumnus, originally was signed by the San Jose Sabrecats of the Arena Football League out of college but was waived during the first week of training camp. He subsequently was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in 2000 (July 5) and made one field goal and one conversion attempt before being waived August 21. Out of football during the regular season, he was re-signed by the 49ers February 21, 2001, and allocated to the Rhein Fire of the NFL Europe League. He later was waived July 9.

A two-year performer at Cal Poly as a collegian, he closed out his career with 20 field goals in 39 attempts, with a conference-record long of 48 vs. Cal State Northridge. He also handled punting duties, finishing his career with 52 punts for 2,046 yards, a 39.34-yard average. Earlier, as a prep, he set a school record with a 57-yard field goal at Upland, Calif., High School.

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