Veteran defensive lineman Larry Smith has been without a team for the first five weeks of the 2003 regular season, but that doesn't mean he isn't ready to make plays this weekend.
Re-signed by the Packers in the wake of injuries to defensive ends Joe Johnson (triceps), Aaron Kampman (ankle) and Chukie Nwokorie (shoulder), Smith says he can contribute if called upon Sunday, when the Kansas City Chiefs come to Lambeau Field.
"I'm ready to roll," Smith said Thursday after his first practice with the team since training camp. "They brought me here to play."
Waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars after two episodes with heat exhaustion during training camp, Smith spent two preseason weeks with the Packers before being cut September 1.
The last time Smith was in Green Bay the Packers were looking to see if he could provide depth at defensive tackle, as starter Gilbert Brown appeared to be on his way to injured reserve with a ruptured biceps.
This time around, Smith is taking his reps at defensive end, with Johnson, Kampman and Nwokorie all questionable for this weekend.
Smith said he hasn't played defensive end since the 2000 season with Jacksonville, but feels he has the speed to get to the quarterback. Of course, the Packers' biggest concern this week will be running back Priest Holmes.
"It's been a while, but I can get back into it," Smith said. "I felt kind of rusty out there today ... I'm ready to go for it."