Packers RB Harris out for the year with knee injury

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers starting running back DuJuan Harris is out for the year after injuring his right knee last week against the Seahawks.

Harris said Tuesday he hurt the patella tendon and hoped to have surgery soon as he heads to injured reserve status. He hurt the same knee during the offseason.

“It is what it is, you know? It’s something I’ve got to go through and must be done,” said Harris, who appeared to be in good spirits at his locker given the prognosis.

The knee appeared to bother Harris after he was flipped over near the sideline by a defender during the 17-10 preseason loss Friday night to Seattle. Harris said the knee was troubling him before that play.

“I kind of knew it. But I didn’t think it was going to be season-over trouble,” he said. “But it’s for the best. If it’s for the best and better long-term, hey, I’m all for it.”

Harris wasn’t sure about his timeline as of Tuesday afternoon, but suggested it might take about six months to recover. He was one of four Packers placed on injured reserve Tuesday, the deadline to trim rosters to 75.

Coach Mike McCarthy was a big supporter after the running back secured the starting job down the stretch last season with 157 yards and two touchdowns in four games. Harris was signed to the practice squad in October and joined the active roster in December following a slew of injuries in the backfield.

But 2013 has been tough without Harris ever seeing a regular season snap.

In June, a team physical revealed Harris had a fist-sized cyst on his lung. It was drained and removed the next day, and Harris returned home the following day. It was the only other time he had undergone surgery in his career.

The loss of Harris potentially means more carries for second-round draft pick Eddie Lacy out of Alabama. He and Harris were being counted on to solidify the running game.

“It sucks, honestly,” All-Pro guard Josh Sitton said about losing Harris. “He was going to be a big part of this offense. You’ve got to move on … The other guys will step up and play. Eddie (Lacy) is going to be a big factor for us.”

Notes: As expected, starting LT Bryan Bulaga (knee) was also placed on injured reserve, along with WR Kevin Dorsey and LB Jarvis Reed. Placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list were S Sean Richardson, DE Jerel Worthy and tackles Derek Sherrod and JC Tretter … Veteran incumbent Mason Crosby won the kicking derby after rookie free agent Zach Ramirez was released just two days after arriving in Green Bay. Crosby hit all 14 of his attempts at practice Tuesday, including a 64-yarder, while Ramirez had a rough afternoon, hitting only one-third of his roughly 16 attempts. Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, who was brought in earlier in camp to compete with Crosby, was released Monday, though McCarthy hasn’t ruled out bringing Tavecchio back.

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