Packers lose RB DuJuan Harris
The Green Bay Packers have placed running back DuJuan Harris on injured reserve after he re-injured his knee during the Packers preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks on Friday.
ESPN reports that Harris has said he injured his patellar tendon, with the initial injury coming during off-season workouts. Harris ended last season as the Packers starting running back and was expected to form a powerful running duo with rookie running back Eddie Lacy. The Friday game against Seattle had been his preseason debut after returning to practice on August 12.
“[It's] not ruptured,” Harris said. “Just trying to, like, prevent it from popping, so I’m good. Everything’s still intact and all that. It’s just a little problem right now that needs to be fixed.”
While the Packers due seem to have adequate depth to withstand the loss of Harris, with Lacy and fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin in the mix, it will be a tough loss for the team to deal with.
“It’s a tough one,” Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy said, via NFL.com. “He’s definitely a young player I felt was going to be an impactful player on offense. I know it’s a tough blow for him. We need to get him healthy, and we will start that process.”
The Associated Press reported that Harris, who may be headed for surgery, will miss the 2013 season because of the injury.
”I kind of knew it. But I didn’t think it was going to be season-over trouble,” Harissaid. ”But it’s for the best. If it’s for the best and better long-term, hey, I’m all for it.”
“It’s a similar injury he suffered in the OTAs,” McCarthy said. “That’s why he pretty much hadn’t practiced in 12 weeks; I think that was the time frame he went through the rehab phase. So a similar injury the other night. I could see it in his eyes as he came off the field, so I really haven’t felt good about it since the game. But then that was made clear today.”
As Harris managed to hobble off the field the severity of the injury was clear, ESPN says that McCarthy has yet to decide if the Packers will designate a return date later this season for Harris, which each NFL team can do for one player per season. However, this requires the Packers to keep him as a member of the 53-man roster through Week 1.
With Lacy having had a strong preseason so far, it may be that the Packers won’t risk Harris’ future and will just let him take the whole year to recover. No matter, what the whole team knows it is a big loss.
”It sucks, honestly,” All-Pro guard Josh Sitton said about losing Harris. ”He was going to be a big part of this offense. You’ve got to move on … The other guys will step up and play. Eddie (Lacy) is going to be a big factor for us.”