DuJuan Harris Injury: Updates on Packers RB's Knee, Potential Return Date
DuJuan Harris was expected to be a huge part of the Green Bay Packers running game during the 2013 NFL season, but after injuring his knee against the Seattle Seahawks last week, he will be placed on season-ending injured reserve, according to Vic Ketchman of Packers.com.
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UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 16
Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com confirms DuJuan Harris will be ready for offseason workouts in 2014 and passed along a statement from the injured running back:
DuJuan Harris had surgery on the patellar tendon of his right knee on Sept. 5 and said he will be ready for all the Packers’ offseason workouts.
He said the surgery relieved fluid, scar tissue and bleeding on his patella. He was on crutches after the Packers’ game Sunday but said he has been walking some and will be rid of them soon.
“I’ll be good to go for the offseason,” Harris said.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was left wondering what could have been with regards to DuJuan Harris' involvement in the offense this season: "He’s a young player I felt would be an important player for us on offense. It’s a tough blow for him. DuJuan was a big part of my individual focus for the season."
Harris spent much of training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, and his stay on the active roster didn't last long. It's certainly a shame for both Harris and the Packers, as his skill set could have been valuable to the team.
Harris didn't initially elaborate on the nature of the injury, calling it a "tweak," according to Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com, but it's obviously much worse than that:
It is a tweak. My definition of a tweak is my leg is not off. If my leg is off, then it’s more than a tweak. But I can come back from this and I will come back full strength.
It’s tough. I faced the fact that it’s something that’s got to be done and I’m ready to go at it full strength.
Harris was very matter-of-fact about the entire situation, but his comments, courtesy of Wilde, certainly seem to highlight his disappointment.
"It is what it is, you know?" Harris said. "It’s something I've got to go through and must be done. I faced the fact a while ago so I’m ready to get on with it. I wish I could simulate the whole season, like a game.
After rushing for just 157 yards in the regular season last year, the Troy product was an absolute revelation for Green Bay in the playoffs. Harris took the starting reins, as his counterparts were either injured or unproductive, and he answered the bell in a big way. He rushed for 100 yards, caught seven passes for 64 yards and scored two touchdowns in two games.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best signal-caller in the NFL, as he threw for 4,295 yards and 39 touchdowns last year, but he was also sacked 51 times. A porous offensive line had a lot to do with that, but teams were able to rush the passer at will due to the fact that there was no threat of a running game.
Perhaps Harris would have been able to change that this year, but that is no longer an option. It will be interesting to see how the running game fares without him.
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