Leake, a 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker out of Clemson, played in eight games for Atlanta this season, all on special teams, after making his NFL debut Oct. 9 vs. New England. He had four tackles on the Falcons' coverage units. The team had promoted Leake from its practice squad, where he spent the season's first four weeks.
A first-year player, Leake originally entered the league as a nondrafted free agent, signed by Tennessee in 2004. He spent the '04 season out of football after the Titans waived him at the end of training camp. Clemson's fifth all-time leading tackler, Leake in four years as a Tigers letterman posted 443 stops, including 25 for loss and six sacks. A third-team All-American as a junior, his 169 tackles in 2002 ranked fourth in the country.
Poppinga, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound linebacker from Brigham Young, sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Sunday night against Detroit. The rookie made his first NFL start in that game as a ‘Sam' linebacker, and had five tackles (two solo). On the year, Poppinga totaled 10 tackles (six solo), with two sacks.
The team's second of two selections in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, Poppinga leads the team with 22 special-teams tackles; the last Packers player with more was Burnell Dent, who had 23 in 1989.