Harris shines, showing signs of 2012 form
DuJuan Harris on Friday night looked like he's back to his 2012 form and, in turn, likely solidified his status as the Green Bay Packers' third running back.
Harris showed the burst and cutting ability that made him a starter late in the 2012 season.
He had splash plays of 31 yards on a screen pass and 17 yards on an off-tackle run to the right side. He finished with 56 rushing yards on 12 carries, and 42 yards on two receptions. Those numbers gave him 106 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in the preseason.
Friday's performance also served as a bounce back after he fumbled last week against St. Louis.
"I was a little bothered by the fumble last week and it's something I'm working on during practice," Harris said.
Harris also appears to have shaken off the effects from a knee injury that kept him off the field for the 2013 season.
"DuJuan looked great out there, he was fast explosive, powerful when he needed to be," starting running back Eddie Lacy said. "Ball security was something he's definitely been working on and it showed out there tonight.
"You could see that he was playing like his natural self, he wasn't favoring the injury or trying to protect the ball too much. He just got out there and played naturally and you could see when he's out there and he's playing naturally just flowing, how explosive of a player he is."
Harris has been getting the first shot at being the No. 1 kick returner and he looked comfortable in that role in his only chance Friday. He took the opening kickoff back 34 yards after catching it 7 yards deep in the end zone.
"I've still got to relax a little bit," Harris said, noting two false-start penalties. "I had a couple penalties I've got to eliminate. And I didn't hear a couple calls I should have."
Still, with Lacy and main backup James Starks, the Packers finally have quality depth in the backfield. The trio combined for 101 rushing yards on 25 carries Friday.
"It's something special," Harris said. "I kind of knew from the jump when we first started last year, even though I wasn't playing last year, I already knew it was something special. The main thing is our relationship off the field. We all get along, we're all close friends and everything, so I think that carries over to the field."