The Green Bay Packers have officially signed Manheim Central 2011 graduate and undrafted free agent long snapper Derek Hart, in a deal made on November 3rd.
Hart, a graduate from James Madison in 2015, was the Duke’s long snapper for three seasons. A 6-foot-4, 245-pound rookie, Hart played in 43 games at James Madison University.
After spending 9 months as an engineer for Harley-Davidson, Hart participated in free-agent combines during January and March before receiving an invitation to work out for the Packers.
The video captures his effort at one of the combines.
STORY BELOW BY ESPN:
GREEN BAY, Wis. – It’s on to long snapper No. 3 for the Green Bay Packers this season.
And no, it’s not emergency snapper Richard Rodgers, their backup tight end.
Derek Hart will rejoin the team and replace the injured Taybor Pepper, who replaced the injured Brett Goode.
Hart was signed on Friday, a source told ESPN.com, after Pepper sustained a foot injury in practice a day earlier.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he and his staff took an in-depth look at the team’s injury epidemic during last week’s bye. They could have done a study on their long snappers alone.
“We’re moving forward,” McCarthy said Friday. “It was an unfortunate injury yesterday at practice.”
Goode, who has held the job in Green Bay since 2008 – except for the two games he missed at the end of the 2015 season when he tore his ACL. The Packers brought him back in August after Hart and the field-goal unit struggled during training camp. But Goode injured his hamstring in Week 3 and the Packers turned to Pepper, who was with the Packers in the offseason but was working in his parents’ boutique until the Packers called.
Goode did an injury settlement in Week 4 and is not eligible to be re-signed until after Week 10.
Pepper had never snapped in an NFL regular-season game before he signed with the Packers in September. Hart had workouts for the Bills and Giants but has never played in a regular-season game.