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GREEN BAY - A few hours before the start of their Saturday night practice, the Green Bay Packers said they have claimed linebacker James Hearns off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys. He will fill the final spot on the team’s 90-man roster.

The 6-2, 265-pound Hearns was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville by the Cowboys on April 30 and was released Aug. 3.

Hearns played in 39 games with 21 starts for Louisville and recorded 97 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 28 tackles for a loss, nine forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five pass deflections. As a senior in 2017, Hearns tied for the team lead with seven sacks.

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Hearns was part of an off-field incident in December of 2016 when he was shot in the elbow at an off-campus apartment while celebrating his teammate Lamar Jackson's winning of the Heisman Trophy.

Asked about the incident at the NFL scouting combine, Hearns said, “We were just at a party, wrong place-wrong time kind of thing. There was an altercation out front between some other guys, and they ended up shooting, hitting me and two other people that night. It wasn’t one of those things where they were coming for me or anything.”

Hearns will wear No. 49 for the Packers, who lost inside linebacker Jake Ryan to a season-ending ACL injury this week.

 

 

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