Franks, Sander placed on IR

Tight end, punter will miss final two games of season

The Packers today placed punter B.J. Sander and tight end Bubba Franks on injured reserve. Sander injured his left (kicking) knee during Monday night's game against Baltimore, and Franks sustained neck and back injuries earlier this month against the Chicago Bears and the week before against the Philadelphia Eagles.

To fill their spots on the roster, the Packers signed punter Ryan Flinn and promoted safety Atari Bigby from the practice squad.

The Packers will enter Sunday's game with two tight ends - David Martin and Donald Lee.

Also, to replace Bigby on the practice squad, the Packers signed running back Ran Carthon.

Flinn, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound punter out of Central Florida, originally entered the league as a free agent, signed by Dallas in 2004. Waived by the Cowboys after punting three times for 34.3-yard average, with one inside the 20, in his rookie preseason, he was out of football last season. Signed by the Atlanta Falcons this past March, he was waived in August. He earned all-conference honors as a 2003 senior in college.

Bigby, a 5-foot-11, 211-pound rookie also from Central Florida, signed with the Packers in November. Originally a nondrafted free agent signed by Miami in May, Bigby spent most of training camp with the Jets and was waived in the final preseason roster reduction. A native of Jamaica, Bigby was a four-year letterman in college, where he registered career totals of 296 tackles, three interceptions and one sack.

Carthon, a 6-foot, 215-pound back out of Florida, has spent most of his first two years with the Colts. Signed as a rookie free agent in 2004, he went to training camp with Indianapolis that summer, then spent three weeks on the Cowboys practice squad before the Colts re-signed him to their active roster. Listed as inactive for his seven 2004 games on the Indy roster, Carthon re-signed with the Colts in 2005 and earlier this season carried 13 times for 18 yards with one touchdown. He also caught one pass for 10 yards and returned five kickoffs for 92 yards (18.4-yard average). Indianapolis waived him Nov. 30. His father, Maurice, played for the New York Giants and currently serves as Cleveland's offensive coordinator.

Franks, a sixth-year veteran out of Miami, finishes the season with 25 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown. The former Pro Bowler sustained a neck/back injury at Chicago (Dec. 4) and has been inactive the last two games.

Second-year punter Sander posted 64 punts for 2,508 yards (39.2 gross avg., 33.9 net), with a long of 53. He suffered a bruised left (kicking) knee Monday night at Baltimore.


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