It was looking as though free safety Harrison Smith would return this week from the knee and hamstring injuries to his left knee.
As it turns out, those looks were deceiving.
After returning to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday, Smith didn’t practice on Friday and has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Bears
“It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be,” Smith said of his injuries. “No setback. Just not as good as I was hoping. It’s just not where I want it to be yet.”
Also ruled out were linebacker Anthony Barr (hand/groin), who missed last week’s game, and defensive end Scott Crichton (neck/concussion) and receiver Charles Johnson (ankle). Listed as questionable are defensive end Everson Griffen (shoulder) and nose tackle Linval Joseph (foot). Listed as probable are linebacker Brandon Watts (rib) and safeties Andrew Sendejo (knee) and Robert Blanton (knee).
Smith hurt the knee in the Nov. 22 Green Bay game. He missed the next game against Atlanta and returned the following week against Seattle. He lasted less than two series and left when he pulled his hamstring. Smith said the injuries are “connected.”
“It’s all the same,” Smith said. “It’s really not that much different.”
Smith missed last Thursday’s game at Arizona but was hopeful for this week. Now, he’s likely to be replaced by rookie Anthony Harris, the former practice squad player who started and played in his first NFL game at Arizona.
“You could just tell early [in the season] that [Harris] has got a high football IQ,” Smith said. “He knows what offenses like to do, what certain things mean. I think you saw that last game. I think he played great and I expect more out of him.”