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Now Williams is back while Harris, the player Williams had to step up and replace late last season, remains sidelined after a season-ending left knee injury against San Francisco Nov. 22.
"I think Al is going to be definitely challenged to make it at the beginning of training camp," McCarthy said.
Harris didn't dispute that he might miss the start of training camp, but insisted he would be ready to start the regular season opener.
"There's no doubt in my mind," Harris said. "That was my goal from day one, and that's still my goal today."
Bigby could be headed toward a long-term contract impasse with the team, but McCarthy passed on the chance to criticize him.
"You definitely probably have a little more leniency or understanding toward an individual that you have gone to battle with," McCarthy said. "Atari Bigby has been here through offseason programs. I have watched Atari grow as a football player from NFL Europe, so I do appreciate his (situation). He is trying to do what he feels is in his best interest as a professional football player and for his family, and I respect that."
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