Harrell trying to rally from injuries in Green Bay
It’s been so long since Justin Harrell did something, anything for the Green Bay Packers that he’s more or less fallen out of sight.
But he’s not gone yet, and the former first-round pick pretty much acknowledges this is a make-or-break season for him. He had multiple back surgeries last season when he spent the entire year on injured reserve, and any time a player is dealing with a back surgery, well, the prognosis can be gloomy.
The club’s first-round pick in 2007, he’s appeared in 13 games weaing a Packers uniform, making two starts. Not much return on an investment.
"I'm what, year four of my contract? I really haven't done anything since I've been here," Harrell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "So it's easier for people to say this is going to be the year for me. But I'm just trying to go out every day and just work as hard as I can."
He sees he feels good right now in the offseason program but there is a lot to do between now and the time the season begins. He says he’s only experienced a little soreness.
“I have not seen a whole lot of Justin," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "When he's been out there, he's worked hard; he's done some things that catch your attention. It's just, in this game it has to be over an extended period of time."
Harrell has also had trouble with hip and ankle problems in the NFL.
"I know I can play at this level. I know why they drafted me. That's never been a concern to me - whether I can play in the NFL," he said. "It's about getting over these injuries; once I let that happen I can let my play speak for itself."
Back injuries can be career enders. The Packers know that, and they’ve had Harrell long enough to realize that anything they get from him this season is a bonus. They would be foolish to count on him for anything more than that.
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