Shepherd, 6-2 and 195 pounds, originally was a second-round selection of the St. Louis Rams out of Oklahoma State in 2000, the 62nd player chosen. He played in 22 games for the Rams over the 2000 and 2001 seasons – 15 as a rookie (one start) when he posted 17 tackles, 1 interception and 7 special teams stops, and seven games in '01 when he posted 6 special teams tackles for the NFC champions.
Traded to Houston on March 28, 2002, Shepherd was with the Texans until Sept. 2, when he was waived in the team's final roster reduction to the regular-season player limit.
Shepherd has been assigned jersey No. 23.
McKenzie, re-signed as a free agent Nov. 20 to combat the team's avalanche of injuries on defense, played in four games before being sidelined by the injury bug himself. McKenzie suffered a hamstring injury suffered in special teams practice Dec. 28 – four days prior to the Buffalo game (Dec. 22) and sat out both the Bills contest and the team's regular-season finale against the New York Jets (Dec. 29). He posted 6 tackles, 1 pressure and 1 quarterback hit in his four appearances, also returning 2 kickoffs 25 yards.
McKenzie, originally a Packer for four seasons(1996-99) after being drafted out of Ball State by Green Bay, had begun the season with Chicago after signing with the Bears as a free agent during the offseason. He played in four games for the Bears before being released Oct. 16.
Tarver, 6-0 and 180 pounds, returns to the practice squad after being waived from the active roster Sept. 2 in the Packers' final roster reduction for the regular season. The former Central Oklahoma athlete had been re-signed April 15, 2002, after spending six weeks of the 2001 NFL season – over three different stints – on Green Bay's practice squad. He has been reassigned jersey No. 45.