<
>

Packers release Wynn, shelve Harrell

8/25/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
The Green Bay Packers made two significant roster moves Monday, releasing running back DeShawn Wynn and placing defensive tackle Justin Harrell (back) on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

UPDATE (11 a.m. CT): Packers general manager Ted Thompson told reporters in Green Bay that Harrell will undergo surgery, possibly Monday, to "kind of hurry things along."

Wynn, a seventh-round draft pick in 2007 who started four games as a rookie, was among four players released. Wynn rushed for 203 yards last season and was the Packers' leading rusher until a shoulder injury ended his season.

That injury opened the door for previously-unknown Ryan Grant to take over the position, and Wynn entered training camp no better than fifth on the depth chart behind Grant, Brandon Jackson, Vernand Morency and Noah Herron.

Harrell, meanwhile, has been unable to stay healthy since the Packers made him the 16th overall pick of the 2007 draft. An ankle injury limited him to seven games last season, and now a back injury is threatening his status this season. He has not participated in training camp.

Now, Harrell is ineligible for the first six games of the season. After that point, he can practice for up to three weeks before the Packers must decide whether to add him to the active roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve. He will not count against the 53-man roster until that point.

Here's what Thompson said Monday at his weekly news conference:

"Eventually we hope he's the good player we think he is. He was a good player in college. He had some injuries in college, and we need to get past that. We don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with him. We don't think it's a lack of toughness. We just think he's had some bad luck. We think he's going to be a good part of a good group."

In the bigger picture, Harrell's latest injury has come at a bad time for the Packers. They traded away defensive tackle Corey Williams in the offseason, in part because the hoped Harrell would be ready to take over a starting job. Fellow defensive tackle Ryan Pickett also has been limited by injuries this summer, and Johnny Jolly faces possible NFL discipline after a July arrest for drug possession.

The rest of the Packers' roster moves can be viewed here. They are now in compliance with the NFL's mandated roster limit of 75 players by Tuesday.