NFC North player wire

Summary of news and notes from past week on individuals within division

GREEN BAY PACKERS
QB Brett Favre is giving his sore throwing arm a break the next few weeks, but the rest of his body won't have much downtime. Favre incurred what he thought to be tendinitis in the right shoulder during Organized Team Activities. Consequently, the team shut him down for the final four of 12 OTA practices, which were to conclude June 19. The injury isn't considered serious.

"I probably could practice, but it really don't make a lot of sense to go out and make it any worse," said Favre, who participated in seven of the OTA sessions.

OL Kevin Barry, hounded by weight issues and a debilitating injury last year, was released by the Packers. The sixth-year player never played a down for second-year head coach Mike McCarthy. Barry suffered a torn quadriceps in a spring minicamp in 2006 and was on injured reserve all of last season.

Prior to McCarthy's arrival, Barry, whom the Packers signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002, was a fixture in the U-71 power-run package (named for his uniform number) as an extra blocker. McCarthy, though, implemented a zone-blocking scheme, and Barry was the antithesis of the lighter, agile linemen desired for the system.

"He was a player that did some positive things (before last year), but when you talk about offensive line and when people talk about being a third tight end, I wasn't looking for another tight end," McCarthy said. "We were looking for offensive linemen that particularly can play multiple positions. And, really, his opportunity just did not happen because of his injury situation."

Barry had yet to be cleared for on-field work this off-season before he was cut.

CB Charles Woodson made a surprise appearance during the third week of the OTAs. Woodson had missed the first half of the 12 voluntary workouts but arrived June 11 and practiced until June 14. Woodson said during the mandatory minicamp in May that he was going to stay away from the OTAs, as he did last year, choosing instead to work out on his own in Houston.

"I told coach (Mike McCarthy) I would come back. So, I'm just trying to keep my word," Woodson said of attending a portion of the OTAs. He said he will not be staying for the final two OTA practices June 18 and 19, however.

WR Greg Jennings is out indefinitely because of a hip flexor. Jennings is the incumbent starter opposite Donald Driver but has been prone to injuries not even two years as a pro. Jennings was bothered by an ankle injury during the second half of last season.

CB Will Blackmon, expected to challenge for the nickel-back spot, missed most of the OTAs because of a groin injury.

DT Justin Harrell, this year's first-round draft pick, remained limited to individual drills. The team has taken a cautious approach in the off-season after Harrell suffered a torn biceps tendon early last season at Tennessee.

S Aaron Rouse, a third-round draft selection, signed a four-year deal June 8. His annual base salaries are $285,000 this year, $370,000 in 2008, $460,000 in '09 and $550,000 in '10. Rouse's signing bonus wasn't available.

WR Antonio Freeman reportedly re-signed with the Packers June 15 so he can retire as a Packer. Freeman had two stints with the club -- 1995-2001 and 2003 -- and ranks fifth in team annals with 431 receptions. He was Green Bay's top receiver during the Super Bowl-winning season of 1996. Freeman has been out of football since 2004, when he signed with Miami but was cut in training camp.

CHICAGO BEARS
DT Tommie Harris returned to practices recently. If Harris doesn't return to the same level of play that got him voted to the past two Pro Bowls, he says it won't be because of the upper left leg injury that ended his 2006 season after just 12 games and resulted in reconstructive surgery. Harris practiced Monday at Halas Hall for the first time since he was hurt on Dec. 3, pronounced himself fit and cleared up some misconceptions about the injury. It was actually a tendon that was damaged and not his hamstring, which is the group of muscles in the back of the upper leg. Tendons are made up of tissue and connect muscle to bone. Harris isn't concerned about a recurrence.

"It can't come back," he said. "They put sutures in my bone and hooked it back. This one will never pull again. It's more likely for the right one to pull than the left because this one should be there for life now because of the screws and stuff, so I should be faster, and I should be stronger, so we'll see. I don't have any excuses. During the season you won't hear me say, 'Well, my hamstring's been killing me. Right now I feel great. I'm working hard where there won't be any excuses and let's just go, let's get ready for football. That injury's over with."

The Bears consider Harris the premier defensive tackle in the NFL, although he's still just 24, and he's ready to live up to the hype. "I think I train hard enough to receive that as a compliment," he said, "but I'm not satisfied. I'm not finished."

CB Charles Tillman returned to the practice field Monday and said he was sufficiently recovered from minor off-season back surgery that he was capable of playing in a game.

"Everything is healthy," he said. "I'm not thinking about it. No pain, no nothing. I'm just back to normal. I'm full force, ready. If we had a game, I'm ready."

DE Mark Anderson, who led the Bears with 12 sacks last season after being drafted in the fifth round, has played ahead of veteran Alex Brown throughout the OTAs.

"The situation obviously is different and I haven't been in that situation before (playing backup)," Brown said. "Wale (Ogunleye) and Mark are just in there first and it's hard, yeah, buy hey, what do I do?" Just two years into a five-year, $15 million deal, Brown is seeking a trade and/or renegotiation, although he's never had more than seven sacks in a season.

DETRIOT LIONS
DT Shaun Rogers is facing serious allegations of off-field misconduct. But although police have filed an arrest warrant, prosecutors have not filed any charges. Rogers allegedly groped a dancer at a Detroit strip club with a gun in his waistband at 1:15 a.m. June 8. Rogers could not be reached for comment. His agent, Kennard McGuire, did not respond to messages. A Lions spokesman said the team was collecting information and had no further comment.


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