Former Sooner Tommie Harris frustrated by injuries

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 11, 2009
Smith wouldn't call the injuries a blow to team plans to have Harris back in the starting lineup by opening night at Green Bay.

“I wouldn't say a setback,” Smith said. “You go through training camp and soreness seeps in a little bit and that's all that happened as far as I see it. It's not like you've seen Tommie go down with an injury or anything like that. But after you practice this long, as hard as the defensive line is going, these things happen.”

Harris signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension before the 2008 season with an $18 million bonus, the highest ever paid to a defensive tackle at the time. He said he understands why the team is being cautious, even if he doesn't like the inactivity.

“I had surgery in March, so I didn't get a chance to do a lot of stuff that the teammates were doing,” he said. “So they're far ahead of me. So I'm really just starting to catch up.”

Separately, linebacker Jamar Williams suffered a shoulder sprain and tight end Fontel Mines a knee sprain during Monday's practice. Cornerback Zack Bowman remained sidelined due to a pulled hamstring and Smith said he isn't close to returning at this point.