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Whitfield signed; Pearson on IR

The Jacksonville Jaguars today placed left tackle Mike Pearson on injured reserve and signed veteran free agent offensive tackle Bob Whitfield to a contract. Whitfield, a 13-year veteran had spent his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons.

Pearson, 24, was originally selected by the Jaguars in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft out of Florida with the 40th overall pick. The 6-7, 307-pounder had played in all 36 career games at left tackle with 31 consecutive starts including four starts this season. He suffered a left knee injury against the Colts last Sunday.

Whitfield, 6-5, 310, was released on the Falcons' final cutdown to 53 players on September 5, 2004. Whitfield, 32, was originally selected in the first round of the 1992 NFL draft by the Falcons with the eighth overall selection and broke into the starting lineup with the Falcons at left tackle in 1993. He made a team record 123 consecutive starts (from Week 1 in 1993 through Week 11 in 2000), eclipsing center Jeff Van Note's previous record of 112 straight starts.

His 178 games played and 167 starts are the fourth-most in team history and Whitfield's 12 seasons of service is also the fourth-most ever by a Falcons player. In 2003, he started the first eight games of the season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken right fibula. He will wear jersey No. 70.

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