Will Some Extra Rest Do the Trick?

The bye week comes at a perfect time for the Green Bay Packers, as key players on both sides of the ball could really use the extra time to get healthy. Will Al Harris be back in the starting lineup? What happens if Justin Harrell gets off the PUP list? Get the Inside Slant from the NFL Experts at Scout.com.

Recovery, more so than rest, is the operative word in the unusually extended break head coach Mike McCarthy granted his players for the bye week.

Following a convincing 34-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the Packers' second straight win to climb back over .500 at 4-3, McCarthy scrapped plans to hold practice Wednesday. So the players were excused for the rest of the week after they reported Tuesday for meetings and weight-room work.

The health of the club was the impetus for the schedule. The Packers were hit hard by injuries the first seven weeks – they had five preferred starters miss a total of 18 games – and the timing of the bye is considered favorable.

McCarthy is hopeful to get all of his key injured players back in time for the next game, Nov. 2 at the Tennessee Titans.

CB Al Harris expects to be with his teammates on the field Monday, when the club reconvenes for practice following its bye week. Harris has missed the last four games because of a lacerated spleen. The veteran is confident he will be game ready for the Packers' Nov. 2 game at the Tennessee Titans. He was cleared to do some individual conditioning drills wearing a weighted vest away from practice last week. …

QB Aaron Rodgers was going to spend the bye week splitting a prescribed rehab schedule between Green Bay and his offseason home base of Northern California, where he headed for a few days after the players were excused Tuesday for the rest of the week. Rodgers has been playing with a sprained throwing shoulder the last three games. …

S Atari Bigby hasn't played since Week 2 because of a hamstring injury, but the extra time off until the Packers' next game should improve his chances of getting back in the lineup. …

DT Justin Harrell
Cory Dellenbach/AP Images

WR James Jones also stands to benefit greatly from the bye as he eyes a return to game action when Green Bay next plays. Jones, the team's No. 3 wideout, has missed the past two games and three of the last four because of an aggravated torn PCL in his right knee. …

DE Mike Montgomery should be another injury casualty to resurface in uniform next week. Montgomery missed the last two games because of a sprained ankle he sustained in his first pro start, as the replacement at right end for Cullen Jenkins, who went on injured reserve after Week 4 because of a torn pectoral muscle. …

DT Justin Harrell probably will remain on the PUP list through next week. The Packers coaches and medical staff want to see how he performs in another week of practice before deciding whether to add their 2007 first-round draft pick to the 53-man roster. Harrell practiced last week for the first time since the end of last season after he underwent two surgeries to repair a herniated disk in his back.

5 – Defensive touchdowns scored by the Packers, all on interceptions. The single-season franchise record for defensive touchdowns is six, attained by the 1966 team under Vince Lombardi that won Super Bowl I.

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