GB's Harrell Hopeful for Titans Game
Next game: Sunday, November 2 at Tennessee
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- If defensive tackle Justin Harrell makes his season debut with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, it will come with much fanfare.
Harrell estimated Friday that as many as 75 family members and friends have tickets for the Packers' game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
Harrell's hometown is Martin, Tenn., about a 2-hour drive from Nashville.
The Packers have yet to decide whether to remove Harrell from the physically unable to perform list and add him to the 53-man roster.
"We've got some decisions that we need to make today and tomorrow," McCarthy said. "Special teams will probably be the driving force of the decisions when it comes between who is up and down. That's what we'll meet on today, and Justin's situation is part of that conversation."
Harrell, the Packers' first-round draft pick in 2007, is champing at the bit to play in a game for the first time since the end of last season.
He has been unavailable to the team this season so far after he underwent two surgeries for a herniated disk in his back, an injury he sustained lifting weights at the start of the Packers' off-season workout program in March.
Harrell started practicing again two weeks ago, when he was eligible to come off the PUP list.
Based on how his involvement in practice went this week, Harrell is optimistic he will be promoted to the roster and in uniform Sunday.
"I just know my reps started to increase a little bit this week and just certain signs that point towards you playing this week," Harrell said. "I'm excited."
A former college standout at Tennessee, Harrell is eager to play in front of a large contingent of supporters.
"It makes it that much better just going home and all of the family and stuff are going to get a chance to come to the game," Harrell said.
He rounded up more than 20 game tickets this week for the family of his fiancee, Barbie Terry, who is from Brownsville, Tenn.
HEALTHY HARRIS MOVES FORWARD: Packers cornerback Al Harris is set to play Sunday for the first time in five games.
He had been sidelined since suffering a lacerated spleen in a collision with Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk in a game against Dallas on Sept. 21.
"Just watching him out there today, I thought he practiced well all week," McCarthy said. "I don't foresee any problems."
During a brief conversation with the media Friday after practice, Harris said he feels good and insisted that the injury is behind him.
"I would really, really appreciate it if we let it go, that whole injury thing," Harris said. "You guys are the only ones who remind me of it. I've let it go."
Green Bay also is expected to have safety Atari Bigby on the field Sunday.
Bigby missed the last five games because of a hamstring injury.
McCarthy said Bigby, who isn't on the injury report this week, would be in the starting lineup if he's cleared to play but added that Aaron Rouse would play some in a backup role.
Rouse filled in for Bigby and had a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown tying a franchise record in the Packers' last game, a 34-14 rout of Indianapolis on Oct. 19.
BIG 5 MINUS ONE?: Just when the Packers thought they would be able to utilize their Big 5 formation with all five wide receivers on the field at the same time, they could be down a guy Sunday.
Rookie Jordy Nelson didn't practice Friday after suffering an ankle injury in a practice collision the previous day.
Nelson was added to the injury report as questionable for the upcoming game.
McCarthy didn't sound optimistic that he would have a full complement of receivers available for only the second time this season.
"It's in danger," McCarthy said. "We're going to test him down there in Tennessee (before the game) on Sunday and see if he can go."
James Jones, the team's No. 3 receiver, will play Sunday after missing two games and three of the last four because of an aggravated knee injury.
NOTES: QB Aaron Rodgers did only some light throwing in practice Friday after he threw extensively the previous two days. Rodgers, who later was signed to a long-term contract extension, was relegated to handing the ball off on running plays in the team periods of practice. The Packers wanted to make sure Rodgers rested his sprained throwing shoulder for at least two days before the game Sunday. He is probable to play. LB Desmond Bishop is the only Green Bay player on the injury report who likely won't play. Bishop is doubtful with a hamstring injury he suffered in practice Monday.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)