Tommie Harris and Devin Aromashodu were inactive for Monday night's game against the Packers. Neither player was injured. The decision to not dress them for the game was a coaches' decision, according to team spokesperson.
Finally healthy after three straight disappointing season that were often attributed to injuries, Harris had started and played significant minutes in each of the first two games.
Aromashodu was targeted 10 times while catching five passes for 71 yards in the season opener against the Lions. He had less of a role in Week 2, when he spent most of the game on the bench. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz said it was because Aromashodu did not play in the slot and therefore had fewer opportunities to get on the field.
However, Aromashodu had played in the slot throughout the preseason.
More likely, the move was related to his performance while playing in the slot against the Lions. Aromashodu took several big hits in the game and several sources indicated he had fallen out of favor with the coaching staff because he was not as aggressive while running routes over the middle.
As for Harris, he had one tackle and a fumble recovery against the Lions and one quarterback hit against the Cowboys. While he hasn't made an obvious impact in the first two games, several players have defended his performance.
"From what I've seen he's done a good job," linebacker Brian Urlacher said earlier this week. "He's getting up field he's creating havoc in the backfield. We could all be playing better. That's all there is to it. There's some times when not everybody is playing their best. It's the same way with him, same way with Julius [Peppers] and Lance [Briggs]. Sometimes everybody does what they're supposed to do on a play, but he's playing hard and getting up field."
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli defended Harris when his former pupil, former Buccaneers tackle and NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp, was critical of Harris before the Cowboys game.
"I believe in Tommie Harris," Marinelli said. "There's no doubt about that. All of you have witnessed how hard he has worked in the offseason. He hasn't missed a practice. I believe he's going to be an impact player. He had a good, solid start. We all understand the impact of that position. He and I and not him alone. Me and him are accountable together to get this to the highest level we can do. He's going to be a dominant player this year."
Matt Toeaina is expected to start in Harris' place while Earl Bennett will likely get more playing time at receiver for the second straight week.
Other inactives include, quarterback Caleb Hanie, safety Major Wright (hamstring), tackle Chris Williams (hamstring), cornerback Josh Moore, running back Kahlil Bell and defensive end Corey Wootton.
In other news, Israel Idonije will start at left defensive end. As expected, Frank Omiyale will start at left tackle for the injured Williams and Kevin Shaffer will start at right for Omiyale.