Leach in; Luchey, Steele out

Packers sign tight end Donald Lee

Vonta Leach's stay on the Green Bay Packers' practice squad lasted all of one day. The announced today that it promoted Leach and released veteran Nick Luchey. The Packers also signed tight end Donald Lee and released tight end Ben Steele.

Lee, a third-year player out of Mississippi State, has 32 games of NFL experience, including 15 starts, all with the Miami Dolphins. Originally chosen by Miami in the fifth round of the 2003 draft, Lee has 20 career receptions for 220 yards (11.0 avg.), with two touchdowns.

Leach, whose first name is pronounced "VON-tay," notched four special teams tackles in six games for the Packers last season, after his first practice-squad promotion. A 6-foot, 250-pound fullback out of East Carolina, Leach originally signed with the team as a non-drafted free agent before the 2004 season.

Leach sustained a sprained knee during Green Bay's exhibition at Buffalo on Aug. 20, but general manager Ted Thompson said Saturday that Leach is healthy enough to suit up and play.

Luchey signed a six-year, $6 million contract as an unrestricted free agent before the 2003 season. A seventh-year veteran, he played in 27 games for the Packers over the last two seasons and never lived up to the expectations the Packers had of him succeeding veteran William Henderson.

Steele was an early season practice-squad addition in 2004 and played in 15 games. He took a number of reps with the first-team offense while Bubba Franks negotiated a new contract during training camp. Steele was second on the team with six catches for 37 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in the preseason finale at Tennessee. He was third on the depth chart behind David Martin and Franks.


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