Green Bay Packers cornerback Al Harris will start the season on the physically unable to perform list, according to coach Mike McCarthy.
The move means Harris, who hasn’t practiced this preseason while he recovers from a serious knee injury, won’t be available to the Packers for the first six weeks of the season.
“Al Harris is definitely getting better, he’s getting close,” McCarthy said. “But he’s going to have to start the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform list).”
The move is a blow to the Packers, who are currently using undrafted rookie Sam Shields as their third cornerback behind Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson. Brandon Underwood, who was expected to contribute as the Packers nickel or dime back, has been on the shelf with a shoulder injury. It’s unclear when he’ll return.
When you add everything up, there’s cause for concern about the Packers defense.
“Defensively, we feel good about what we were able to put in and tailor to our players,” McCarthy said. “But I can’t deny the fact we haven’t played good defense in the preseason. We don’t have the continuity we would probably like because a number of our starters have been out because of injuries.
“We have to get that continuity for Philadelphia.”
The beginning of the season will be interesting for the Packers. With a rookie starter at safety (Morgan Burnett) and two young players in the nickel and dime slots (Shields and second-year man, Underwood), the defense will go through some growing pains and the Packers may find themselves in more than a few shootouts.