FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed linebacker Justin Kurpeikis to the practice squad today. The Patriots' practice squad is now at its full compliment of five players.
Kurpeikis, 26, spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played in nine regular-season games and the 2001 AFC Championship Game against New England. The Steelers signed the 6-foot-3-inch, 254-pound linebacker in 2001 as a rookie free agent out of Penn State. He spent the entire 2001 season on Pittsburgh's active roster and played in three games, recording two solo tackles and one special teams tackle. Last season, he played in six games for Pittsburgh and finished the season with two special teams tackles (1 solo). He was released by the Steelers following their 2003 training camp on Aug. 26, 2003. The Allison Park, Pa., native was an All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection for Penn State as a senior in 2000, and was named the team's most valuable player and a defensive co-captain.