While the recent injury news has been mostly positive with the returns of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, there remains one troubling situation.
According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, DuJuan Harris is seeking a second opinion on his injured right knee. Harris, who missed most of the training camp recovering from a different knee injury, went down in last Friday's preseason game coming off a screen pass.
Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy has mentioned several times that he views Harris as the team's starting running back. However, with the emergence of second-round pick Eddie Lacy as the team's most effective runner, it was beginning to look as though Harris would be a nominal starter if a starter at all. This injury further entrenches Lacy as the team's lead rusher heading into the regular season.
Assuming Harris' injury isn't serious, he still projects to have an important role in the offense. While Lacy has caught a few passes so far this preseason, he's not on the same level as Harris as a pass catcher. Johnathan Franklin is also an adept receiver out of the backfield, but he's yet to establish himself as a viable running threat. As such, lining up with Franklin announces the offense's intentions in a way that playing Harris doesn't. Furthermore, should Lacy miss time, Harris is the only other back on the roster with any track record running the ball efficiently.
Harris' injury comes at a bad time for the Packers, who need to cut down their roster to 75 by 3:00 pm CST today. If he's healthy, the team would at least consider releasing running back James Starks (they've already cut Angelo Pease). With Harris potentially sidelined for an extended period of time, the Packers might need to lean on Starks to round out their tailbacks.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn
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