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Monday, May 16, 2005
Coston just the second 2005 draftee to sign news services

Green Bay Packers: Fifth-round draft pick Junius Coston signed Monday.

Coston, an offensive lineman from North Carolina A&T, is the first of the Packers' 11 draft picks to sign and only the second player selected in the NFL draft last month to come to terms. The St. Louis Rams signed defensive back Jerome Carter, a fourth-round choice from Florida State, on April 29.

Coston, 6-foot-3 and 317 pounds, played center and guard in college. His cousin is Packers tight end David Martin.

Houston Texans: The team drafted tight end Bennie Joppru in 2003, but groin injuries have kept him from ever taking the field.

The team had high hopes for his debut this season, but he injured his right knee in a non-contact drill on Monday. He was helped to the sidelines and then carted off the practice field.'s Len Pasquarelli reported Monday night that Texans officials fear Joppru suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligement, an injury that, if confirmed, would likely sideline him for a third straight season. Joppru will undergo an MRI exam on Tuesday morning.

"The last three years he's probably had as tough a luck as anybody," Texans coach Dom Capers said. "It's unfortunate. We were looking forward to having Bennie and having a chance to work with him."

Capers also wants 340-pound offensive tackle Victor Riley, who signed a one-year deal last week, to shed a few pounds. "It's a tough thing for a new player who hasn't been in our offseason program to catch up," he said. "It will take Victor a while to get into the kind of shape I want."

Miami Dolphins: Cornerback Will Poole had reconstructive knee surgery Monday and is expected to miss the entire 2005 season.

Poole tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during minicamp earlier this month. The second-year pro was the leading candidate to replace Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain, traded last month to Kansas City.

A fourth-round draft pick, the 5-foot-10 Poole played in 15 games last season, making 31 tackles and one sack.