GREEN BAY – While a bunch of other players sat out Sunday morning's practice session either just to rest (like Chad Clifton) or coming off surgery (like Nick Barnett), the injury-riddled Justin Harrell was participating at practice for a second consecutive day and held his own.
Harrell has yet to make a big impact on the football field, but just showing he's healthy and can withstand the rigors of training camp is a step in the right direction.
With Ryan Pickett sitting out the first part of this morning's session, Harrell took his place with the first-string defense while gaining valuable reps and experience.
As a 3-4 defensive end, Harrell is not going to be a premiere pass rusher, so his success should not be judged that. Rather, he has to swallow up offensive linemen to keep blockers off the inside linebackers and secondary, and he's been able to do that thus far.
The Packers are going to miss Johnny Jolly's single-season franchise record 11 pass break ups for a defensive lineman. With Harrell's long levers, it's possible he can do some damage by clogging passing lanes much like Jolly.
Currently, Harrell has been working with the twos as one of the two down defensive linemen in the nickel package. If he can get in a rotation in those game situations, he may be able to find some success.
Health report: Among those being held out of practice for either rest or coming off of offseason surgery were Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Ryan Pickett, Nick Barnett, Brett Swain, Derrick Martin and Ronald Talley.
Still on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list are Al Harris, Atari Bigby and James Starks.
Brad Jones continued to be held out after taking a helmet to the back at yesterday's practice.
At one point Greg Jennings took a hit from Will Blackmon and was slow to get up. The injury wasn't serious as Jennings returned to action and later caught a deep pass streaking down the middle of the field for a sizable gain.
Jarrett Bush pulled out of today's session after some cramping issues.
"I don’t think we had some individuals on our football team that did a very good job hydrating," said McCarthy after practice. "It’s not like it’s hot out here today or yesterday. But also, those things do happen at the beginning of training camp."
After yesterday's reasonable temperatures and misting rain, it's possible the players weren't prepared for today's warmer temperatures.
Looking sharp: Jermichael Finley is doing a good job making some fans believe what they thought for quite some time, that he can be a dominant tight end.
He appears to be picking up where he left off last season, catching the ball in stride and making catches over the middle.
On one particular pass, Finley went up over Blackmon at safety and came down with the football, the height difference an obvious mismatch. There's not many safeties in the NFL who would have fared any better than Blackmon.
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