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Packers release Harper, six others

Aug 24, 2014 -- 3:31pm
Photo/Getty Images 
After a strong offseason, former fourth-round pick Chris Harper was one of the players released Sunday.

GREEN BAY – Chris Harper’s offseason performance seemingly had him squarely in the mix for one of possibly six wide receiver spots on the Green Bay Packers roster.

Released on Sunday, the second-year wide receiver didn’t even make it through the first round of cuts.

In advance of Tuesday’s deadline to trim the roster to 75 players, the Packers released seven players Sunday: Harper, safety Charles Clay, cornerback Antonio Dennard, linebacker Korey Jones, fullback Ina Liaina, quarterback Chase Rettig and wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard. All seven players are eligible for the 10-man practice squad, which will be established after the final cutdown to 53 players on Aug. 30.

The Packers still must make seven roster moves to get down to the 75-man limit. Tackle Don Barclay (knee), wide receiver Jared Abbrederis (knee) and nose tackle B.J. Raji (biceps) all appear ticketed for season-ending injured reserve, so that would further reduce the number of players who’d have to be released to reach the limit.

Harper, a fourth-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks a year ago, was cut at the end of training camp and signed off the Seahawks’ practice squad by the San Francisco 49ers. When the 49ers subsequently cut him, the Packers claimed him on Oct. 18 in the wake of injuries to wide receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones. He played four games without a reception last season.

After catching the coaches’ eye during OTAs, Harper was limited by a hamstring injury during the second half of the offseason and then did little to impress during training camp.

Rettig, the fourth quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien, saw his playing time dip with each passing game in preseason and it appears the Packers want to get extended looks at Flynn and Tolzien in Thursday’s preseason finale against Kansas City before deciding on Rodgers’ top backup.

Dennard spent the final four weeks of the regular season on the Packers’ practice squad last year, while the Packers picked Sheppard up at the start of camp after he was cut by Baltimore. 

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