The Green Bay Packers will place running back DuJuan Harris on injured reserve today after the second opinion he received on his injured knee indicated damage to his patellar tendon, which holds the knee cap in place.
It's expected Harris will be out for the season although Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the team has yet to discuss possibly labeling him with its one injured reserve designated to return.
The 5-foot-7, 203-pound scat back was expected to be a heavy part of the Packers’ revitalized running offense this year with this year after providing a jolt upon his promotion from the practice squad on Dec. 1, 2012.
Harris said he probably would require surgery, but wasn’t too certain about the specifics. After starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list, Harris exited in the second quarter of his preseason debut during Friday night’s 17-10 loss to Seattle.
The injury appeared to happen when a helmet collided with the knee at the conclusion of a screen pass, but Harris said it had already started swelling prior to that point.
“That’s the main thing that hurts, watching those guys go out there to battle and I can’t go out there with them,” Harris said. “I’ve still got the same hunger. I’ll still keep the same attitude and everything. Just after the surgery, I’ve just got to work my butt off to get back to 100 percent and when I do, you’ll see me again.
“It’s definitely not ending my career. Definitely not ending my career or anything like that. Don’t think everything is over, because it’s not.”
Harris, who is a week shy of his 25th birthday, rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 34 regular-season carries in four regular-season games in 2012 (4.6 yards per carry) and started both of the team’s playoff games.
The Packers will now have to go back to the drawing board with fourth-round rookie Johnathan Franklin, and veterans Alex Green and James Starks expected to get additional work in Thursday’s preseason finale against Kansas City.
“We still have a stable,” Harris said. “We still have a stable and those guys are doing a good job. I know we’ve been having a little tough preseason so far, but it’s preseason and we’ll get all that stuff out of the way. I see those guys running pretty strong this year.”
Neither Harris nor Packers coach Mike McCarthy knew if the organization would slap the first-year running back with the team’s one return from injured reserve designation, but that appears unlikely at this point.