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When Will The Packers Activate Al Harris, Atari Bigby & James Starks?

October 29, 2010

The Green Bay Packers have until week 9 to decide what to do with Al Harris, Atari Bigby, and James Starks. The 3-week practice window that the NFL allows players coming off the PUP list expires Saturday, November 6.

Everything I have read says cornerback Al Harris is the closest to returning. Safety Atari Bigby is right behind Harris, but running back James Starks is a distant third. Harris said that he had expected to be active last week against the Vikings, but head coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers’ coaching staff decided against it.

“We’re just analyzing it day by day,” McCarthy said on Thursday. “They’re taking reps with the first unit, so we’ll do exactly what we did last week. We’ll sit down and we’ll talk about all three days. (Cornerbacks coach) Joe Whitt has been giving me an evaluation every day, and (safeties coach) Darren Perry has been giving me an evaluation every day. And we’ll make a decision at the end of the week.”

It’s possible that Harris and Bigby will be activated for the Jets or the Cowboys game but only see a handful of snaps. The Packers have a bye in week 10, so the team may be taking the conservative route and waiting until week 11 to fully unleash the two veterans.

As far as rookie running back James Starks is concerned, I doubt we’ll see him in 2010. Barring another injury to the Packers backfield, I think Starks may be headed for season-ending injured reserve. It’s simply been too long since Starks has seen live football action, and the team would be wise to have Starks participate in a full offseason program before asking him to pick up blitzes and protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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