Packers sign IFL linebacker Josh Francis

Weston Hodkiewicz
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West Virginia linebacker Josh Francis (top) sacks Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

The Green Bay Packers are tapping the Indoor Football League for possible help at inside linebacker.

The team announced Thursday the signing of Josh Francis, a 6-foot, 238-pound first-year player out of West Virginia University. He spent time with the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2014 and the IFL's Wichita Falls Nighthawks in 2015.

After two years at Lackawanna College (Pa.), Francis played two seasons for the Mountaineers (2011-12), starting 13 of 21 games played. He led the team with 15 tackles for loss in 2012.

The Packers have delved into the IFL before for players. They signed Green Bay Blizzard linebacker Maurice Simpkins midway through the 2010 season. He played in two games with the franchise.

Francis, a former teammate of Packers offensive lineman Don Barclay, ran a 4.65-second time in the 40-yard dash at his Mountaineer pro day in 2013 with 25 bench reps at 225 pounds and a 34½-inch vertical.

The Packers have released two veterans in the past two weeks in A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones. They have only one natural inside linebacker on the roster, Sam Barrington, who has played in a regular-season game.

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