The ax drops on eight players

Packers general manager Ted Thompson made a number of moves today to bring Green Bay's roster to the NFL-mandated limit of 75 active players. Among the moves, the Packers claimed a kicker, waived eight players and placed two on the team's season-ending injured reserve list.

The Packers claimed rookie left-footed kicker E.J. Cochrane off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles. He will compete against Dave Rayner, who has been perfect in preseason games, but has struggled, at times, during practices. Cochrane originally signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Falcons in February. He had signed with Philadelphia in April and connected on one of his two field-goal attempts, as well as his only PAT try, in 2006 preseason action.

"We've been following him at school and also at training camp," Thompson said. "We thought he was having a real good training camp. We thought he was a guy that we want to take a look at."

Thompson said he likes Cochran's leg strength and ability to boot the ball deep on kickoffs.

The move to sign Cochran is not too surprising, despite the fact that Rayner has made two 30-yard field goal attempts and all seven of his extra point attempts. During practices, Rayner has been inconsistent, especially between 30 and 40 yards. Last week, he missed three of 10 field goal attempts, all from 39 yards, during one practice.

There were no big surprises among the eight players that were released. They included fullback A.J. Cooper, long snapper Thomas Gafford, wide receiver Chad Lucas, defensive end Montez Murphy, defensive tackle Jerome Nichols, wide receiver Calvin Russell, cornerback Jerron Wishom and quarterback Brian Wrobel.

"These guys are young and they've done everything we've asked them," said Thompson. "Some of them didn't get as much playing time as we or they had hoped, but that's just the way those first three games worked out. Sometimes injuries were a factor and other things, but these guys did a good job."

In addition, the Packers placed linebacker Kurt Campbell and safety Marviel Underwood on injured reserve. Underwood sustained torn ligaments in his knee during the exhibition opener at San Diego. Campbell injured his shoulder during Monday night's game while making a tackle on a kickoff.

Thompson said that Underwood will soon have surgery on his right knee. Campbell was on injured reserve for all of last season after he sustained torn knee ligaments early in training camp. A seventh-round selection by Green Bay in 2005, Campbell injured his hamstring early in training camp this year and missed the first two preaseason games before returning to play against Cincinnati on Monday night.

"He's had a run of bad luck," Thompson said. "Of course he's had the knee injury last year and the hamstring. Then the first play he gets in there, he gets injured. That's bad luck."

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