Roster moves

Thornburg placed on injured reserve; Packers sign Herron, re-sign Franz

The Green Bay Packers Wednesday signed running back Noah Herron from the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad, re-signed safety Todd Franz and placed safety Jeremy Thornburg on injured reserve.

Herron, a 5-foot-11, 224-pound rookie out of Northwestern, entered the league as Pittsburgh's final 2005 draft choice, the Steelers' second of two selections in the seventh round. A versatile back who also returned kickoffs in college, Herron played in two games this year, including his NFL debut in a season-opening win vs. Tennessee, Sept. 11. He recorded his only three carries, for 2 yards, that afternoon. Waived Sept. 23 and re-signed to Pittsburgh's practice squad four days later, Herron had also posted one special teams tackle.

Herron likely will see immediate action this Sunday as a kickoff returner for the Packers when they play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Packers rank last in the league in kickoff returns. Green Bay lost two fumbles on kickoff returns last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Chicago Tribune's Big Ten ‘Back of the Year,' Herron as a 2004 senior compiled 1,384 yards and 14 touchdowns on 274 carries (5.0-yard avg.). He left the Wildcats ranked fifth in school history with 2,524 rushing yards.

Franz, a 6-foot, 205-pound veteran in his fourth year out of Tulsa, rejoins the Packers after a shoulder injury ended his training camp bid to make the team. Out of football since the end of the preseason, Franz has played in 41 NFL games, with two starts.

Franz is in his sixth stint with the Packers since the team originally claimed him on waivers in 2002.

Like Herron, Franz is expected to be used on Green Bay's special teams in place of Thornburg, who sustained a separated his shoulder Sunday at Philadelphia.

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