DuJuan Harris‘s preseason debut was nothing short of disappointing. Entering training camp, Harris was pegged to be the Green Bay Packers starting running back, but now it looks like he may not even be ready to start the season in San Francisco on Sept. 8.
Harris had two yards on three carries on Friday night before reinjuring his knee on a screen pass. The second-year back was taken out of the game and held out of practice this week. He’s doubtful to play against Kansas City on Thursday, and may not even be ready to go for the Packers season opener, according to Chris Wesselling of NFL.com.
Wesselling reported earlier today that Harris’ knee injury could be more serious than he let on after the game, and he’s currently seeking a second opinion.
In his press conference today, Coach McCarthy also said that Harris’s “status is in question” for week one, meaning it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to suit up against the Forty-Niners.
This is not a good start for Harris this season. With second-round pick Eddie Lacy really coming on strong in camp, Harris will have to fight hard for playing time in the Packers backfield, and that begins with getting healthy and staying in the lineup.
Lacy looks like the real deal and may have taken the starting job in the backfield from Harris, regardless, but with Harris missing so much time already, Lacy is now the odds on favorite to start at running back for Green Bay.
Ideally, the Packers would like both Lacy and Harris to be healthy and utilize both of their talents in the game. They each offer something different at the running back position and could complement each other well, but at this point, Harris’s return to action is uncertain. He could even be out several weeks into the season.
This means the Packers will be relying heavily on the legs of Lacy to get their run game going this season. Lacy should be able to handle the responsibility. He’s a big bruising back that can get the tough yards. He didn’t have a great day against Seattle on Friday night, but he also didn’t get a lot of room to work with.
The Packers line had trouble opening holes against Seattle’s eight man fronts. However, it’s highly unlikely opposing defenses will play with eight in the box throughout the game with Aaron Rodgers under center.
With Harris out for an undetermined amount of time, look for Lacy to grab the reins in the Packers backfield and make the most of his opportunities.