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Packers Lose RB DuJuan Harris to IR

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Packers Lose RB DuJuan Harris to IR

Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris, who figured to have a featured role in Mike McCarthy's offense this season despite the presence of impressive second-round pick Eddie Lacy, will now be forced to watch 2013 from the sidelines.

At his post-practice press conference Tuesday, McCarthy announced that Harris would be placed on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury. The Packers head coach reiterated that it's the same knee that Harris has been dealing with for the majority of training camp.

A second opinion on the knee, which Harris re-injured against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday night, confirmed the worst case scenario for Green Bay. Harris told reporters following practice that the issue is with his patellar tendon.

While the NFL does allow the option for a player to be placed on IR with designation to return, the Packers can't place Harris on the season-ending version and later downgrade the application to the short-term. A player also needs to be on the initial 53-man roster to be eligible. If he's placed on IR Tuesday, Harris will miss the entire 2013 season.

The 5'7" running back burst onto the scene last season.

Signed as a street free agent, Harris was promoted from the Packers practice squad in early December before carving out a defined role in the offense to finish 2012. He tallied 100 total yards during Green Bay's Wild Card round win over the Minnesota Vikings, and later led the team in rushing against the San Francisco 49ers. Overall, Harris rushed for 257 yards and caught nine passes for 81 yards over six games, including the playoffs.

Throughout this offseason and into training camp, McCarthy has remained steadfast in his support for Harris, who he viewed as a starter and a featured member of the Packers offense.

Green Bay will now have to shift gears at running back, with Lacy figuring to get a bump in touches and the first crack at starting. Veterans Alex Green and James Starks should feel a little more comfortable job security-wise, while the development of fourth-round pick Johnathan Franklin—a running back with a similar skill set as Harris—will now be put into the spotlight.

More than likely, Harris' injury will mean the Packers keep Lacy, Green, Starks and Franklin as their four running backs to start 2013.

McCarthy was clearly shaken by the news.

"He’s a young player I felt would be an important player for us on offense," McCarthy said. "It’s a tough blow for him. DuJuan was a big part of my individual focus for the season."

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (77) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Thank goodness Tinkering Ted drafted Lacy and Franklin instead of putting all his eggs in the Harris, Green, Starks basket. Speaking of Starks, hes in! How pumped are you!?!?! Hope Franklin finally runs with confidence Thursday. Que the Queen! "ANother gone and another gone, another one bites the dust. Hey ey ey ey ey ey ey!"

Bibbon Hazel's picture
TommyG's picture

...nice...

TommyG's picture

For those of us wondering which four RB we were gonna take, this makes that pretty much a done deal. Now we must ask ourselves, do we keep Kuhn?

Mojo's picture

Knew this was coming as soon as I heard he "tweaked" his knee. To me this is a big blow for our RB situation. He was someone I was hoping could duplicate what he did the previous year which to me was one of the better individual performances by a Packer.

I know a lot of people are going to say, so what he was a FA one-hit wonder etc. IMO this is a big loss.

Evan's picture

No doubt it's a big loss. I'm still wondering what the injury is - I read it was something to his patellar tendon. I have no idea if that's ACL tear type serious (must be somewhat serious, obviously) or if he might be able to come back after a couple months.

TommyG's picture

It's a big deal, slow to heal thing. That tendon is what allows your quad to straighten your leg.

Evan's picture

Yeah...that sounds serious.

Stroh's picture

Very similar to ACL tear in terms of severity. Harder to tear completely too. Ahman Green had this in '04 or '05. Actually they sometimes use the patellar tendon the middle 1/3 of it to repair an ACL injury.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Agree, Huge loss...

That is my question, can he come back? Could he be put on the IR designated to return, or is he just flat out done for the year?

Stroh's picture

Not likely. As severe possibly more so than ACL. Hurts but I wouldn't say huge. Lacy and others will pickup slack.

Tibbits's picture

Not to the level of an ACL tear. I've had a patellar tendon tear and two months after I got it scoped I was backpacking in the mountains of New Mexico. His might be more serious though. It's a big loss.

Cow42's picture

I can't even get upset about this kind of sh%t anymore.
It's absolutely comical.

This team is straight up cursed.

In my opinion there were only 4 position groups on this team that possessed any sort of depth... defensive backfield, defensive line, wide receiver, and running back.

And all this happened...

House has turned out to be average.
Williams bruises a bone.
Hayward dings his hammy TWICE.
Nelson has knee surgery.
Cobb bangs up his arm.
Harris loses a knee.
Franklin ends up being a bust.

The only question still remaining is... which DLman is gonna go down?

This team is hanging on by a thread.

CowKiller's picture

Will you moo when I PUNCH U COW?!! WILL YOU???!! TELL ME KOW PLEASE.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Cow, I agree for the most part.

D-line. Jones has been battling an ankle sprain.

I disagree on Franklin. He hasn't set the world on fire, but he isn't a bust yet either... Give him some time. Sometimes players take a few games sometimes a year before they show what they got.

But I agree. this team definitely has something in the water....

Cow42's picture

Oh... and Burnett hurts his hammy.
But we should be all set there... McMillian/Jennings/Banjo... not many teams can trot out a ferocious tri like that.

trvs's picture

There has to be a free agent out there somewhere better then MD Jennings. The dude is way to small to be a threat in the secondary. Every tackle he made against seattle was him bouncing off of the other player.

Cow42's picture

what is this "free agent" thing you speak of?

stormin's picture

What about safety Phillips released by Eagles?

ben's picture

MD Jennings problem isn't his size, its everything else. Hyde, Mcmillian, Richardson, Bush & Charles woodson are all better safeties

BigJoe's picture

You don't get to call a player a bust if they have yet to play a regular season snap.

Cow42's picture

so you think he'll be BETTER vs starters in a real game setting than he was vs scrubs in a glorified scrimmage.

got it.

aNEWpackersJERSEY's picture

True story, Cow. Sad, no doubt, but true. And that's not even counting guys like Tretter and Bulaga from this camp. Its not even necessary to mention guys like Worthy and Sherrod who are STILL out from injuries that maybe should've been healed by now?! I had already resigned myself to losing someone for the year in that third game...

And now I'm equally sure that there are other people that have noticed this (curse) trend as well.

Evan's picture

Under no realistic circumstances should Worthy's ACL be healed by now.

calipack's picture

Cow42 chill the f**k out we still have Rodgers and the defense is looking better you are over exaggerating everything

Cow42's picture

You're obviously right.

Other than...
RB
WR
TE
OT
C
ILB
OLB
S
CB
... we're good to go.

Oh yeah - and Kicker.

Jake's picture

RB - totally because Lacy hasn't looked good at all..
WR - Yeah we don't have anyone good there..
OLB - Yep no one there either
CB - Dang I bet Tramon, Shields, and Hayward wouldn't start on any other team in the NFL...

Cow42's picture

RB - WHEN (not IF) Lacy goes down they have the exact same crappy group running behind an even crappier line than last year.

WR - This group has been overrated for years. They have exactly 1 guy who can get open on his own... Cobb. They rest are made by Rodgers.

OLB - "Yep no one there either"... I agree 100% w/ your assessment. Right now they have Matthews and 2 defensive ends playing out of position.

CB - Only 1 of the 3 you mentioned would start on another team... BECAUSE THE OTHER 2 ARE HURT!

hayward4president's picture

Dude....saying cobb is only good WR is dumb. Have you seen some of the catches Jordy has made in the past couple years? He's a freak and you know it (yeah I know if he's healthy)..AR doesn't make these catches he just gets the ball there.

Clay's picture

Don't forget TE, Jake...that guy Jermichael has no potential;) All NFL teams' starting TE's are better than him, and all their backups are too;)

Us Packer fand can only dream of what it's like to have a talented receiving corps. Sighhh...

mark's picture

you're straight up annoying dude. if this game is so aggravating for you, why not leave it alone and take up knitting? learn to play the trumpet. adopt a dog. play chess. do anything. but stop dragging everyone down with your literally endless negativity.

god, i cannot imagine your life if you were a fan of the panthers, bills, dolphins, jets, cardinals, browns, jags, titans, chiefs, raiders, chargers, eagles, bears, lions, vikings, rams, bucs, bengals...

no, instead you're a fan of the greatest team/franchise in all of sports: the world champion green bay packers. titletown, usa.

stop and smell the roses, buddy. life isn't so bad. i can't wait for this season. packers are going to dominate.

go pack go!

VApackerfan's picture

well said

Evan's picture

OL is better than last year.

Cow42's picture

1. The game doesn't aggravate me, the fact that the Packers are wasting Rodgers does.

2. None of the teams you listed are wasting the talents of a hall of fame level quarterback.

3. This team is not the "World Champions" of sh*t. Please let me know the next time they don't get straight up embarrassed by a quality opponent.

4. My life is fine. Pretty much only the Packers p*ss me off.

5. "dominate"? How on earth is that going to happen with zero running game, a bottom 5 NFL offensive line, and a defense just waiting to get exposed by the next good offense they encounter?

Tommy G's picture

The only teams that will exploit that defense are the top level teams. Unfortunately those are the same teams we will see in the playoffs. i was please by that performance against seattle though. Keeping their mobile QB contained in the pocket made their offense look pedestrian. There is yet hope and a big test week 1.

MarkinMadison's picture

This is NOT a bottom 5 OL, even with Bulaga out. Tone it down a bit. You were sounding pretty reasonable last week. Or are you just "playing" again, like last year? Seriously, it gets old.

hayward4president's picture

Mo#&#@fu#*@n TITLETOWN USA! Damn right! The greatest franchise in all of sports .... love my Pack!

TommyG's picture

Cow, you didn't mention:

QB
OG
DL
P
FB

I don't think I've seen such a positive post from you in such a long time!

Cow43's picture

Maybe I'll just start rooting for the Bears, then I can regularly be pessimistic about Cutler.

Evan's picture

Ugh...I honestly don't know what's worse. The real trolls or the anti-troll trolls.

Idiot Fan's picture

+1

Jake (State Farm)'s picture

Somewhat surprised he wasn't let go. He didn't play all that much last year, nothing really this year and now he is permanently out? Why not just cut him and get a replacement next year? His kink of injury can be recurring and why take the chance.
Again another late round or undrafted who got hurt. Theme seems to be recurring here.

Tommy G's picture

I assume you mean Harris. While he didn't take the lion's share of snaps he was the only RB that looked like he might have some skill. Starks and Green certainly didn't show anything all of last season. I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate to not have cut both of them in the off season. If we had then we would be looking at Lacy, Franklin, and Kuhn as our three RB. I'm happier with Lacy, Starks and Green back there, but not by much.

Aaron Nagler's picture

Because he's a good football player. And because McCarthy loves him and really wants to showcase him in his offense.

http://www.espnmilwaukee.com/common/page.php?feed=2&id=9081&is_c...

Phatgzus's picture

Well Khaki boy, he wasn't released because he has a great combo of speed, elusiveness, and anger when he runs, seriously have you even watched him with the ball? Every time he gets the rock you feel like he might take it to and through the (glass) house. You know who else was a UDA? Arian Foster, yeah that dude's garbage.

trvs's picture

I wonder if Pease gets a chance to come back... maybe even Ced Benson?? haha.

As far as the Rodgers comment goes, I think we need to be getting at least 100 yards rushing a game this season. I would like it be closer to 125+ with the amount of runners on this team. The presence of a running game could seriously make the team a true contender.

To keep defenses guessing whether we pass or run, all season, could take a huge weight off of everyone's shoulders.

Cow42's picture

"the amount of runners on this team"

Lacy aaaaaaaaaaaaaand?

trvs's picture

I wasnt saying #1 premium runners, just saying there are four on the team and of the four we have, they should be capable of atleast getting 25 yards each per game.

But beyond Lacy, I would probably pick Green. Franklin still has figuring out to do, and Starks is well un-reliable.

Cow42's picture

At 3.5 ypc (which would be stretch out of that group) you're looking at around 29 running plays.

Are the Packers going to run 30 times a game?

Seems like a lot.

For the Pack to av. 100 ypg, Rodgers will have to be heavily involved.

In fact, I net Rodgers is their # 2 rusher this year.

TommyG's picture

We won 15 games two years ago without a hundred yard rusher. We won our division again last year without that rusher. What lost the game against the giants and the 9ers was the lack of defense. What will kill us in the playoffs, and we will make the playoffs, will be that secondary again. Our team is not getting better on defense.

Charlie M's picture

Maybe Rodgers will be the second leading rusher again this year, Cow. Who will be the #2 rusher for you 49ers? I have to assume it will be The Revolutionary, Colin Kaepernick, what do you think, Cow?

Cow42's picture

"I have to assume it will be The Revolutionary, Colin Kaepernick"

there's a difference between running because you want to and running because you have to.

keep busting Kprnk.

see where that gets you.

Changing.
The.
Game.

Phatgzus's picture

Ahhh Cow, so you finally display your true colors.

Kaepernick isn't revolutionizing game, that's down to Tarkenton, Vick, and Goodell; no, he's just capitalizing on it, just as Griff the III and Wilson are. I'd rather have a QB who's perfecting the game rather than "changing" it.

Lou's picture

Not good news, Lacy looks the part but time will tell, Franklin has not yet adjusted to the pro level, Green has little instinct, and Starks is between injuries at the moment. Ryan Grant at the price of a 6th round draft choice gave them 4 solid seasons as an every down back who ran hard and very seldom fumbled and they have yet to replace him. I feel sorry for Harris, the kid had excellent instinct and quickness and surprising power for his size. Thompson will be looking at the cuts closely at RB.

TommyG's picture

I don't think he will go to the waiver wire for RB after the Benson experience. TT, with rare but notable exception, lives (and will die) by the draft.

Phatgzus's picture

Had? Did Harris die from or lose his leg to a staph infection?

Longshanks's picture

I can't take this sheet anymore!! Now DuJuan? Not DuJuan!! Anybody but him. I loved that guy and was looking forward to seeing him team up with Lacy. Dude reminds me of Barry Sanders and now he'll probably never play another down in Green Bay.

The only positive is I hope Lacy makes a huge name for himself this season with the extra carries and dominates like we all think he can so nobody will think about DuJuan Harris by next year including me.

These season ending injuries really take an emotional toll on us fans and they never seem to end. Every damn year we seem to lose one player a game!! When will this sheet end for us!! I am so mad right now I want Shawn Slocum fired just because!!!

Tundraboy's picture

Me too. I cant remember the last time we had a RB run like he did last year with explosion and power and so,e attitude. With it being the only good thing at the beginning of the SF game Really wanted to see him get his chance that he earned and to take the pressure off to start Lacy.

Hope rest of year is better ,

Franklin Hillside's picture

How did cow type with the remnants of his exploded head dripping down his computer screen?

Lucky953's picture

I'm less worried about our depth at running back than I am the OL. We have one legit NFL backup in Newhouse. After that, it really drops off. I think the Packers will be closely watching OL on the waiver wire. I'll be very surprised if they don't sign a guy. In fact, I could see them trading for a more proven guy with one of their tight ends or a DL.

TommyG's picture

OL is going to plague us all year, with or without further injuries. If AR can't stay upright, like in last year's fail mary game, we are not going to have a good year at all. Our secondary is still my biggest concern though. Our preseason showed that deep throwing QBs can still eat us alive.

Lucky953's picture

Good point. Without Hayward and Burnett, it'll be tough sledding

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I just hope Nagler is ok, poor guy had him a man crush on DuJuan.

Bob's picture

Get healthy bro. we'll need you next year. As a Packer owner this really stinks. Really wanted a Lacy and Harris backfield!!

dawg's picture

McCarthy was clearly shaken by the news!

Calls for bottled water, turns off tap water in Lambeau.

Committee looking into possible Lambeau heating coil leak into water supply!

News and injury update at 11.

Cheese -n- Rice--- Whats next.

fish and crane's picture

The only way to stop a wave is with another wave. A Shinto priest can change the frequency of a location and create a wave of protection.

The next time I learn of one in Wisconsin CHTV bloggers must help fund his trip to Green Bay to perform the ancient ceremony.

Curly and Vince and upstart Neil Armstrong concur.

RC Packer Fan's picture

From reading between the lines, it sounded like McCarthy had some special plans for Harris. Kind of reminds me of the year that he had special plans for Finley and then he got hurt.

Its unfortunate, but he still has Lacy, and Green is another year away from his torn acl, he seemed to have his legs back in the last preseason game. Franklin is young but learning and I think McCarthy will utilize his strengths.

dawg's picture

you are correct, BUT can the OL show the run to daylight.

dawg's picture

Ahhhh But of course.

Calabasa's picture

Not that worried about Harris. Never bought into him. Lacy and Starks will be enough change-of-pace from the ARod show.

Lars's picture

Starks sucks. Can't catch, can't block and is injury prone. Yet, people still want to whack Kuhn.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Maybe we'll catch a break. Another IR placement will moat likey take place but maybe WE will get lucky and the next IR addition will involve holstein carpal tunnel. Lacy and Green as 1-2 while Franklin gains confidence. Starks with something to prove. Not to mention an ascending defense! I'm ok with that! This positive thinking is so enjoyable!

Phatgzus's picture

You're like the Anti-Cow, keep it up.

Bart's picture

Given the inability of our O'line to effectively run block I don't think losing Harris is that big of a deal. Fact is that even with a top tier RB we are stuck with a pass-first-second and third offense anyhow as this O'line just won't get the job done.

jh9's picture

From what I’ve seen in preseason, it’s the O’line that has me most concerned. With a rookie at LT, a back-up guard at C, and a undrafted RT, the potential for a serious injury happening to AR this season is way too real for me to feel comfortable. As much as I respect TT, his refusal to sign a high-quality O’line free agent or trade for one could come back to haunt him if “the franchise” gets seriously injured by a O’line determined by dollars spent rather than talent and experience.

Phatgzus's picture

Well Bak-T outplayed Newhouse for LT and Barclay outperformed him at RT, EDS replaced Saturday last year, so there's that.

Norman's picture

While I can understand those clamoring for TT to sign a high-quality free agent O lineman, remember that they cost a LOT more than a draft pick, particularly a mid-level draft pick, and where does it say that free agents can't get injured just as easily as draft picks? That's a lot of dead money sitting on IR then, and while we have a lot of injuries on this team, what's the cap space we have sitting on IR or PUP? Not that much compared to other teams I'll bet.

You can't predict injuries (other than Justin Harrell and Mike Neal, and maybe James Starks), and sinking a boatload of money on a free agent just means you're taking a bigger risk. Sometimes risk pays off, often times it does not.

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