Youth, it appears, will be served in the Green Bay Packers backfield this season.
On Tuesday, DuJuan Harris, the green and gold’s starting tailback at the end of the 2012 campaign, as announced by head coach Mike McCarthy, was placed on injured reserve stemming from a knee injury sustained in Friday’s preseason affair against the Seahakws, likely ending his season.
“It’s a similar injury he suffered in the OTAs,” noted McCarthy, according to ESPN.com. “That’s why pretty much hadn’t practiced in 12 weeks; I think that was the time he went through the rehab phase…I could see it in his eyes as he came off the field, so I really haven’t felt good about it since the game. But then that was made clear today.”
As a result, Eddie Lacy, selected by Green Bay in the second round (61st overall) of the 2013 NFL draft out of Alabama, is poised to open the regular season as the Packers’ starting tailback at San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 8.
In two preseason contests, the 5’11”, 231-pound Lacy has rushed for 35 yards on 16 carries.
In respect to Harris, the former Troy Trojan vows that he will be back.
“I still have the same hunger,” noted Harris, who 157 yards and two touchdowns in four games for Green Bay this past season, as reported by jsonline.com. “I’m going to keep the same hunger. I’m going to keep the same attitude and everything. After the surgery, I just have to work my butt off to back to 100 percent and when I do, you’ll see me again. It’s definitely not the end of my career.”
Beginning this past season as a member of the Packers’ practice squad, the 5’7”, 197-pound Harris, who kicked off his career with Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent in 2011, made his regular season debut for the two-time NFC North champions against Detroit on Dec. 9, 2012—amassing 31 yards on the ground on seven carries—and became the team’s feature back shortly thereafter.
For his career, the 24-year-old Harris, who also underwent surgery in early June to have a cyst which was pressing against one of his lungs removed, has amassed 199 yards rushing on 43 carries and two touchdowns over nine games.