Harris said it was "awesome" to be back at practiceWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ corner Al Harris said it was “awesome” to be back at practice yesterday.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ corner Al Harris said it was “awesome” to be back at practice yesterday.
And after being out for 11 months with a torn left knee, the 35-year-old Harris said his timing and everything else felt normal. Harris won’t start on Sunday night against Minnesota, but he could be part of the five-back nickel package.
Safety Atari Bigby also returned to practice yesterday, after having ankle surgery during training camp. He did less than Harris, and there’s less of a chance he’ll play against the Vikings. But coach Mike McCarthy said both did okay, and their chances of playing will be re-evaluated each day this week. Harris, Bigby, and rookie running back James Starks all spent the first six weeks of the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Starks has not played in two years due to hamstring and shoulder injuries – and he went through individual drills yesterday.
Meanwhile, linebacker Clay Matthews was limited at practice as he gets over a bad hamstring. But McCarthy said Matthews had a good workout, and today will be the real test. He missed last week’s loss to Miami, but he’s expected to return against Minnesota. Also optimistic about returning are linebacker Brandon Chillar and defensive end Ryan Pickett. Both were limited at yesterday’s practice.
Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers is 0-8 when his teams have played Brett Favre. And he hopes to get rid of that goose-egg on Sunday night, when Green Bay hosts Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packer defense failed to sack the three-time MVP in two games last season. And defensive end Ryan Pickett says that’s got to change. He says the Packers won’t win if they don’t put pressure Favre. Last year, Capers rushed five-or-more players just five times in Green Bay’s loss at the Metrodome. A month later at Lambeau Field, he sent at least four rushers eight times, after safety Atari Bigby had just returned from an injury. But it didn’t help, as Favre remained untouched and the Vikings cruised to a big lead in the first three quarters. This year, Favre’s production has dropped off. He has among the league’s worst passer ratings at 72-point-one. But running back Adrian Peterson has stepped up – and Capers will have to account for that as well. Still, opponents win if they can get to Favre. The Vikings are 4-6 when Favre is sacked three times or more – and they’re 10-1 when Favre goes down two times or less.