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Harrell fears that his career might be over

Packers defensive lineman Justin Harrell, a first-round pick in the 2007 draft, continues to struggle with a bulging disk in his back.

Though he said he was healthy in May, the situation flared up in training camp, and he hasn’t practiced since August 6.

Most definitely,” Harrell said Monday regarding the possibility that he will never be the same, per Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.  “Anytime you have back surgery, it’s always a red flag, and then having two in one year.  It’s one of those things, man – you’re trying to fight through it and trying to fight through it, and . . . .

“Hey, I don’t want to think about that right now, because hopefully, that’s [not going to happen].  But it’s definitely in my mind.”

Per Pelissero, the Packers are trying to come up with a new treatment plan, but it’s not making Harrell feel any better.

“It’s probably been the worst week of my life,” Harrell said.  “Of anything I’ve been through, all the injuries and things like that – this is definitely the toughest.  You get up so high and you’re feeling good, and just like that, I’m back to where I was before.”

Harrell was the 16th overall pick in 2007.  Fortunately for the Packers, there’s no clear-cut standout who was picked after him in round one.

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30 Responses to “Harrell fears that his career might be over”
  1. misterj says: Aug 17, 2009 8:01 PM

    As a Packers fan I can name several such as Beason, Staley, Grubbs, and Olsen.
    It was a real reach at the time and it didn’t work out.

  2. DCViking says: Aug 17, 2009 8:04 PM

    Vikings fan Bob Nelson indicates that next to the Vikings, the Packers have the best front office in football and would never had drafted anyone in the first round who did not become a Hall Of Famer…
    I find this article hard to believe…

  3. Beer Cheese Soup says: Aug 17, 2009 8:09 PM

    When can we finally cut this guy and be done with him? I understand we need more depth on the DL, but we have been paying this fat slob first-round money to sit on his ass for three years now, how much longer before we can cut our losses already??

  4. MkePackFan says: Aug 17, 2009 8:11 PM

    I think he’ll probably be cut…we’ll need the roster spot and his back will never be good enough to play again (most likely).
    Time to admit failure w/ this pick TT

  5. PkrNboro says: Aug 17, 2009 8:13 PM

    “career might be over”…
    hell, it never started.

  6. Bob Loblaw says: Aug 17, 2009 8:15 PM

    What do you mean no clear-cut standout picked after him in round one?
    Michael Griffin and Jon Beason have both been to the Pro Bowl, players like Dewayne Bowe, Greg Olsen and Anthony Gonzalez are on their way to being consistent 1,000 yard receivers, and Ben Grubbs and Joe Staley are starting offensive linemen — probably the biggest area of need for the Packers. They even could have drafted Brady Quinn and patlayed him into a 2008 1st round pick.
    So don’t make it sound like Packers didn’t have anything to choose from. Ted Thompson gambled on Harrell, and lost.
    Given the Packers desperate need for a RB, he could have traded up for Adrian Peterson instead of taking Ryan Grant off the Giants scrap heap. That move would most likely would have resulted in winning the Super Bowl.

  7. Majik Man says: Aug 17, 2009 8:16 PM

    Michael Griffin and Jon Beason don’t count as stand-out players? The guy played like 8 games in 4 years of college, so I don’t really know what Thompson was expecting to get out of this guy. Just another wasted Thompson draft pick.

  8. russie says: Aug 17, 2009 8:24 PM

    Fortunately for the Packers, there’s no clear-cut standout who was picked after him in round one.
    ___________________________________
    how about michael giffin, jon beason, or dwayne bowe?
    these three have already proven to be good players
    greg olsen and zach miller have also proven to be up and coming studs

  9. Packerhq.net says: Aug 17, 2009 8:28 PM

    I have stated this on many packer forums and blogs and will say it again, the packers need to swallow there pride and cut him loose.
    It was a reach pick and it failed. I feel bad for the guy but you can’t keep him on IR year after year.

  10. Fan of Football says: Aug 17, 2009 8:31 PM

    One of many overrated Ted Thompson blunders. Just put him out of his misery.

  11. GBpackerbakr says: Aug 17, 2009 8:32 PM

    I hate to call a guy a bust with chronic back pain…..but we could have done better in th draft.

  12. lebowski says: Aug 17, 2009 8:35 PM

    At the time, I remember the guy I wanted at 16 was Greg Olsen, and was bummed we passed on him. That was most definitely a crappy draft though. One of the weakest ever. Look at all the solid guys available in the middle of this year’s draft. Too bad, he seems like a nice kid, but bad backs are career killers.

  13. GBPackers says: Aug 17, 2009 8:38 PM

    DC Vikings fan:
    I could not agree more!! I am a huge packer fan(Yes, and i HATE the vikings) but bob nelson is an a@$!!!!!! I especially realized it when he was talking trash about Udeze. That said, dont let that douche speak for all of Green Bay………because yes Mr. Nelson, Green bay has busts too!!

  14. Farves sweet Hair says: Aug 17, 2009 8:49 PM

    Nice pick Teddy!

  15. DCViking says: Aug 17, 2009 9:01 PM

    @GBPackers -
    Don’t worry I have to realize that there are plenty of Packer fans who maintain a high level of hate for the Vikings while still being smart enough to acknowledge (albeit grudgingly) that everything the Vikings do isn’t wrong, and that in cases like Udeze (and potentially Harrell — though obviously his issues aren’t life threatening), your talking about people’s lives and livelihoods, and that trumps team loyalty.
    So, yes I will continue to make fun of Bob every chance I get while realizing that he doesn’t represent the bulk of Packer fans.
    That being said, the Packers still suck, but I mean that in the nicest way possible.

  16. TheBaySay says: Aug 17, 2009 9:18 PM

    Thompson’s been a generally good GM in my opinion but like all of the rest of us he makes mistakes. And his are hard to just forget about after a day or two. Harrell caught some tough breaks but so do a lot of people who never get million dollar contracts. Packers have enough able and talented players on hand that they cannot afford to waste a roster spot on a guy who just isn’t going to be able to play. Good luck Justin; invest your money wisely.

  17. Fan_Of_ Four says: Aug 17, 2009 9:31 PM

    Well I finally get to say I told you so but even if he does give it up the Ted Thompson boot lickers will still defend him as the next best thing to deep fried cheese curds. Who would of thunk it, a guy who missed his senior year in college because he couldn’t stay healthy tanks in the NFL because of the same ?
    Way to go Teddy, Harrell’s your Tony Mandarich.
    Wait until they figure out A.J. Hawk wasn’t worth a first round pick either. Who am I kidding, Teddy’s boot lickers live in denial, they will never admit Thompson is tool.

  18. PackFaninPackLand says: Aug 17, 2009 9:33 PM

    Florio: “Harrell was the 16th overall pick in 2007. Fortunately for the Packers, there’s no clear-cut standout who was picked after him in round one.”
    Good grief. What a colossally stupid comment Florio. Picks after Harrell in the first round – how about Michael Griffin (Pro Bowl DB), or Aaron Ross (CB), or Reggie Nelson (Safety – a position of actual need for the Packers), or passing up all the loot the Cowboys got in terms of draft picks from the Browns for Brady Quinn just to move down a few spots, or Brandon Meriweather (Another Safety they could have used), or Joe Staley (OT – another position of need for Green Bay), or Ben Grubbs (OG – a position of need since Ted Thompson got to Green Bay 4 1/2 years when he decided he didn’t need Pro Bowl caliber Guards because as he so brilliantly stated “guards can be found anywhere” and STILL hasn’t replaced them with anyone decent), or Greg Olsen (TE – yet another position of need for the Packers), plus several more in the 2nd round that would have been infinitely better than bust Justin Harrell.
    Yeah, you’re right, that Ted Thompson – what a genius ! Another sage move by TT – sort of like passing up Tony Gonzalez for a #2 pick, who’ll get his 80-90 catches for 1000 yards and 10-12 touchdowns AGAIN this year like always, while we have that TE that makes Def. Coordinators quake in their boots, Donald Lee, he of the 32 catches for 400 yards and 2 TD’s per year. Yee Hah !!!
    Bravo Ted, bravo.

  19. descendency says: Aug 17, 2009 9:33 PM

    LMAO. Joe Staley sucks. He’s only playing because the 49ers OL sucks.

  20. Pack66 says: Aug 17, 2009 9:43 PM

    Ted Thompson (Mr. 31-33)…SUCKS!
    Plain and simple!

  21. DailyNorseman says: Aug 17, 2009 9:50 PM

    I have to object to the title of this article, as saying “fears his career might be over” implies that he had some sort of a career to start with.
    Ted Thompson spent the 16th pick in the first round of that draft on a guy that played 3 games his senior year before getting hurt and missing the rest of the season. With Thompson’s level of arrogance, he might be the only person in America surprised by this development.

  22. stanjam says: Aug 17, 2009 9:52 PM

    Sorry to hear about this. Those discs are nothing to fool around with. I had some bulging discs. They have since burst. Once they do that, well, welcome to a world of pain and discomfort.
    Yeah, it can easily end your NFL career. It can easily be something you will feel for the rest of your life. Thankfully, they are coming out with new and novel ways to treat this all the time. One way to work on the bulging discs now is to actually heat up the disc, cut off any excess, then reform and cool it down. Had a friend have good success with that surgery.
    At any rate, hope your treatment is successful. Just don’t mess around with it! The pain I go through every day I wouldn’t want anyone else to suffer through. Okay, well, maybe a few people come to mind!

  23. zod says: Aug 17, 2009 10:18 PM

    He was done after the first surgery didn’t work.

  24. JimmySmith says: Aug 17, 2009 10:44 PM

    What nobody has yet to mention is that at that time, the Cleveland Browns were desperately trying to trade up in the first round to secure Brady Quinn. Ted Thompson could have easily given up the spot in the 16th spot, and ended up with a later pick and a first rounder the following year. For the life of me, I don’t understand why after years of trading down to get more picks, this was the one time Ted didn’t do it.
    OK, Harrel will never play again and that is sad but it is hardly the worse D lineman drafted in the past decade in GB. Remember Jamal Too Small Renyolds (sp?), that piece of shit out of Fla. State. And they traded up which automatically makes it worse. Just ask a Viking fan if trading up is a good thing to do with T Jack Off as Exhibit A.

  25. jimicos says: Aug 18, 2009 1:06 AM

    Fan_Of_ Four says:
    August 17, 2009 9:31 PM
    Who would of thunk it, a guy who missed his senior year in college because he couldn’t stay healthy tanks in the NFL because of the same ?
    ————————–
    At the time he was drafted, you could’ve said the same thing about Adrian Peterson. You take shots. Sometimes you’re right, sometimes not.
    Regardless of Thompson whiffing on Harrell, he’s not the village idiot you constantly make him out to be.

  26. Qoojo says: Aug 18, 2009 4:53 AM

    Yep, if you make enough picks, you will make some bad ones. Just the nature of the draft.

  27. gooboy6 says: Aug 18, 2009 8:49 AM

    guys have some sympathy for the guy, when you have a bad disc, you can’t do ANYTHING, much less play a violent sport like football

  28. ElCabong says: Aug 18, 2009 8:54 AM

    Hind sight is 20/20. We all shouted at the tv and said Harrell who? Ultimately the draft is a crap shoot. To those who think Ted, or they, could’ve done better; I point you in the direction of your own fantasy football drafts. How many early picks did you make that didn’t work out. Get over it, I’m disapointed too but nothing, nothing, is guarenteed.

  29. jimicos says: Aug 18, 2009 10:18 AM

    ElCabong says:
    August 18, 2009 8:54 AM
    Hind sight is 20/20. We all shouted at the tv and said Harrell who? Ultimately the draft is a crap shoot. To those who think Ted, or they, could’ve done better; I point you in the direction of your own fantasy football drafts. How many early picks did you make that didn’t work out. Get over it, I’m disapointed too but nothing, nothing, is guarenteed.
    —————————
    I agree with your sentiment, but fantasy drafts aren’t even a good comparison. 95% of the players you draft for your fantasy team are veterans, and you know about what level of production to expect from them at the NFL level. Hold a “rookies only” FFL draft to make a better comparison. It’d be much harder.

  30. purpleguy says: Aug 18, 2009 10:46 AM

    The guy’s toast. I’m a Vike fan and not necessarily a TT fan, but since general managers don’t have a crystal ball, you’re never certain what you’ll get. I don’t know if this guy had a college injury history or not. If so, the blame TT. If not, then it’s just bad luck. The Vikes wouldn’t have drafted Udeze had they known he was going to get luekemia — what can you do?

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