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Packers' Harrell isn't done just yet

Packers defensive end Justin Harrell doesn’t know when he’s going to hit the football field again, but he knows he’s going to try.

The 2007 first-round pick, who has contributed practically nothing on Sundays to Green Bay, says he isn’t going to retire.  He feared that his chronic back pain was going to threaten his career, but he’s been assured by doctors that he won’t do any long-term damage to his back by playing again.

“It’s one of them things I’m going to have to deal with as long as I
play football, the back flaring up,” Harrell told the Green Bay Press Gazette  “Hopefully, next time it
happens, we’ll be more educated and it won’t take as long to get back
out there.”

It remains to be seen if the Packers wait for him.  A healthy Harrell would help provide depth for their new 3-4 defensive line, but the team may decide he’s not worth waiting for unless he gets back on the field soon. 

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27 Responses to “Packers' Harrell isn't done just yet”
  1. Humboldt420 says: Aug 25, 2009 8:59 PM

    Unfortunately for Harrell (back problems are no joke), I knew he had bust written all over him coming out of college.
    The Pack gambled and took him. Maybe he can find the field this year, but, he’s just another wasted pick at this point.

  2. ElCabong says: Aug 25, 2009 9:01 PM

    BUST!!

  3. jimmySee says: Aug 25, 2009 9:07 PM

    I wish him well — he’s a tough kid and has been delt a bad hand — but his future success may not come in Green Bay.
    Injurred reserve is a possibility for him.

  4. Sterling says: Aug 25, 2009 9:13 PM

    Ted Thompson was an idiot to pick – in the first round – a player who played only 4 games his senior year b/c of injury. I mean, Ted, ya wanna waste a pick, do it in the 5th or 6th round, ‘kay? One more TT bust.

  5. Dr. Michael says: Aug 25, 2009 9:21 PM

    Harrell needs Tony Dungheap to get him his deserved 2nd chance.

  6. PossibleCabbage says: Aug 25, 2009 9:25 PM

    Well, he’d be very cheap to keep for the year if they put him on IR, but next year is the year by which he’d have to do something. He’s a good kid, just unlucky . Back problems are no joke. At least he looks good when he plays. I mean, most players who are drafted (no matter where they’re drafted or by whom) end up failing in the NFL. A player failing because he gets an injury that he hadn’t previously had, isn’t nearly as much an indictment on the general manager as a player failing because he simply stinks on ice.

  7. wrath4771 says: Aug 25, 2009 9:28 PM

    I’ve got nothing against Harrell and having experienced back pain not even remotely as bad as his, I can only imagine how much he must hurt. But, TT blew it on pikcing him. As posters have mentioned above, with the history of back trouble he’s had you don’t blow a first rounder on a player like that.

  8. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Aug 25, 2009 9:29 PM

    # Humboldt420 says: August 25, 2009 8:59 PM
    Unfortunately for Harrell (back problems are no joke), I knew he had bust written all over him coming out of college.
    The Pack gambled and took him. Maybe he can find the field this year, but, he’s just another wasted pick at this point.
    ———————
    No offense, but you really need to get a clue before you spout off about “knowing” anything. First of all, Harrell had a torn bicep his Senior season. Not a bad knee or a back or a neck, but I bicep injury. Name one athlete that hasn’t fully recovered from such an injury or who’s career was threatened by that? If you saw how he injured it, it was a pretty freak injury that happened, just like it happened to Gilbert Brown.
    Had he not had the injury, he was projected to be a Top 10 pick. Even with the injury, the Broncos said they were going to take him a few spots after the Packers if they hadn’t picked him and there was another team that mentioned they had him slotted in the first round.
    Does it suck that he’s had a back injury? Sure. Was it predictable given his his history in college before the draft? Not at all. All you guys talking about TT wasting a pick because he was injured his senior season need to get your facts straight or use your heads for a change.

  9. Majik Man says: Aug 25, 2009 9:35 PM

    That’s all fine and good PossibleCabbage, if he didn’t have a history of back injuries in college. The only flaw is that, you know, he did.

  10. PossibleCabbage says: Aug 25, 2009 9:43 PM

    Harrell didn’t actually battle back problems at Tennessee. He battled shin splints, a broken ankle, and a torn bicep muscle. All of these are relatively common injuries that, with treatment, most people make a full recovery from. In fact, Harrell has fully recovered from all of those problems, as they haven’t been the reason he’s been unable to play as a Packer. He’s been unable to play because he hurt his back lifting weights, which can be a serious problem. It’s not as though there’s anything about his previous injury history in college that would lead you to believe he’s likely to get a serious back injury. At Tennessee he was actually notable for being a gamer and playing through injuries. So much so that he played an entire game against Florida with a torn bicep (at personal risk of doing permanent damage to the arm), and so much so that he was the last person at Tennessee to be allowed to wear #92 (retired in honor of Volunteer great Reggie White).
    Kid just was dealt a bad hand. There’s no such thing as a magical genetic predisposition to being “injury prone”. Some people have good luck and some people have bad luck.
    I mean, think about it. The Broncos were going to draft either Justin Harrell or Jarvis Moss in 2007. They missed out on Justin Harrell (who is frequently injured but fights to get on the field), so they traded up to get Jarvis Moss (who is so terrible not one of 32 teams would offer so much as a 7th round pick for, and is so awful that he contemplates retirement before the season . Which of those guys do you think Denver would rather have now?

  11. tufar says: Aug 25, 2009 9:59 PM

    The Packer apologist of the year goes to………
    The envelope please…
    His first award, long overdue….
    Whatthehellisgoingonoutthere!!!!
    “Thank you, thank you, I really thought that Jimmie (or is it Timmie) Smith or Bob Nelson had a chance, but I proudly accept this bronzed cheese head award, and promise to continue to make the Packers look far better than they really are for as long as Florio will let me.”

  12. MkePackFan says: Aug 25, 2009 10:02 PM

    Once you injure your back, it’s damn hard to ever get right.
    Bust of a pick though it’s looking like. Packers need the roster spot and Harrell is prime cutting material. I don’t think his back will ever be right again.
    As far as TT draft busts some are spouting off about…name some.
    I know some will say AJ Hawk, but he was a consensus pick at #5 in that year…and he’s been serviceable, not great, but you can’t expect all players drafted in the 1st round to be perennial pro bowlers. Some may say Terrence Murphy too…well he had a career ending neck injury.
    Don’t forget though TT has also gotten you Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, most of the o-line (say what you want about it, it’s still pretty decent if they are healthy & consistent), Bishop, Raji, Matthews, Collins, etc al.

  13. Fan of Football says: Aug 25, 2009 10:09 PM

    Of course that fat a$$ isn’t going to retire, he is going to milk every cent out of this league he can. Great pick Ted Thompson!

  14. Hauschild says: Aug 25, 2009 10:21 PM

    B U S T
    TT’s done an good job with his first and second round picks, but not a tremendous job.
    Harrell is a prime example of why you never discount a collegiate injury history – especially back issues with heavy-set guys.

  15. ShimSham says: Aug 25, 2009 10:27 PM

    whatthehellisgoingonoutthere, thank you for typing out everything I wanted to say.

  16. gameday says: Aug 25, 2009 10:27 PM

    Why retire? Continue drawing that gravy paycheck for doing absolutey NOTHING, DEADBEAT

  17. mozizgod says: Aug 25, 2009 10:35 PM

    I wasn’t happy with the pick either when it happened but let’s remember. He hurt his back in the weight room because the trainer screwed up and had him lifting more than he should have. And that trainer’s not around anymore is he?

  18. Fan_Of_ Four says: Aug 25, 2009 10:56 PM

    Time for Teddy “alternative lifestyle Thompson ” to admit he was wronger than a pimple on Tom Brady’s girlfriends a$$ with this pick. Time to flush this giant turd and give that roster spot to somebody who wants to play football.

  19. Koition says: Aug 25, 2009 10:56 PM

    whatthehell – Your rationale has no place here…
    I believe the other team that was going to take him after the Packers was Tennessee. Capers also said he was rated very high on his board as a DE in the 3-4.

  20. J.Cannon says: Aug 25, 2009 11:06 PM

    BUST. Terrible pick. Harell was a third round pick, at best, in most mock drafts the year he came out. Tough break getting hurt but the kid is wack. Good choice TT.

  21. hscorpio05 says: Aug 25, 2009 11:35 PM

    Echoing previous posters – he had a triceps problem in college, not a back problem. It’d be one thing if his triceps was keeping him out. Is TT supposed to predict that he would have chronic back problems that weren’t there in college?

  22. The Boogeyman says: Aug 26, 2009 12:46 AM

    @Fan of Football
    I’m standing and applauding you. It’s your first post that doesn’t mention your hero Brett Favre! You are a true hero on the JS blogs, a great inspiration for children and scholars alike.

  23. DocBG says: Aug 26, 2009 1:41 AM

    regardless of how bad you packer fans feel for him, the fact is he should be cut. my guess is TT is a little too puffed up to admit the mistake, hopefully it isnt the case, but with the screw ups he’s had happen, its likely he’ll stick with him out of pride instead of football sense, also a common problem with packer fans.

  24. throwtoheath says: Aug 26, 2009 3:04 AM

    # Dr. Michael says: August 25, 2009 9:21 PM
    Harrell needs Tony Dungheap to get him his deserved 2nd chance.
    ^^^^^^^
    alright dr. mitchell, are you going to post this on every single story?
    it’s not funny or clever.
    cease and desist.
    you suck at life.

  25. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Aug 26, 2009 10:35 AM

    # tufar says: August 25, 2009 9:59 PM
    The Packer apologist of the year goes to………
    The envelope please…
    His first award, long overdue….
    Whatthehellisgoingonoutthere!!!!
    “Thank you, thank you, I really thought that Jimmie (or is it Timmie) Smith or Bob Nelson had a chance, but I proudly accept this bronzed cheese head award, and promise to continue to make the Packers look far better than they really are for as long as Florio will let me.”
    ——————–
    I know that logic and common sense are foreign to you, but that’s what makes you an obvious Vikings fan, right? All I did was state the facts. It was stated by several teams that he was going to be picked in the 1st round AFTER the Packers and he NEVER had a back injury. Misinformed people seem to think he did, which is not the case.
    That said, How’s Erase-me “from the NFL” James doing? Has he cracked the starting lineup yet? Now there’s a guy who had a career threatening hip injury and college. Hips and knees are usually related as an injury for one causes the other joint to overcompensate. Are you going to criticize them for that pick?!?!?!

  26. tufar says: Aug 26, 2009 12:27 PM

    Hey whatthe…Did I say you didn’t get the facts right? There really was no need to drag up a Vikes injury plagued player. My comment had to do with the fact that you are a Packer apologist as any one reading your comments would have to agree on whether they are a Vikings or a Packer fan. Good for you if this seems to be your lot in the internet life. Surprisingly, you maybe interested to know that although I am a Vikes fan, I also respect all other teams in the league for their efforts in a very demanding sport. Unlike you I do not go around “beating” on and insulting the opposition teams but I do feel the need occasionally to comment, usually jokingly, when bloggers like yourself make it easy to do. Here is something for you to try, ask a few of the Packer players if they hate the Vikes the way you seem to. I think you will find that the most vehemence is is found amongst the fans sometimes. Competition does not always involve dislike. Or is that not common sense to you?

  27. Fan of Football says: Aug 26, 2009 6:43 PM

    Harrell didn’t get “unlucky” nor was it the trainers fault. Harrell showed up to camp out of shape after his rookie season and ended up hurting his back because of it. Harrell’s fault, plain and simple. The idiot is lazy. So much for TT being a good judge at character.

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