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Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 2:18:04 PM(UTC)
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Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — DuJuan Harris is hoping to be part of the 1-2 running back punch with Eddie Lacy next year that the two were supposed to be this year.

Harris entered training camp as the Green Bay Packers starting running back, coach Mike McCarthy had insisted, but a right knee injury that had sidelined him all offseason recurred in his preseason debut, landing him on injured reserve.

Harris said at midseason that there was fluid on the knee and irritation of the patellar tendon but no structural damage found when he underwent surgery in August, which is a good sign for a full return to action when the offseason program and organized team activities kick off in spring.

"If they would've needed me last night, I'd have switched jerseys with somebody if I needed to," Harris said as the Packers players cleared out their lockers Monday, one day after their season-ending 23-20 NFC Wild Card Playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.

"I can run. I can outrun a lot of the guys in this league right now. my test is going to be getting it at top speed and then stopping all of a sudden. Once I get that down, I know [the] things I can do."

While Lacy rushed for a Packers rookie record 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in essentially 14 games — he added 21 carries for 81 yards in Sunday's loss to the 49ers — No. 2 running back James Starks, who carried 89 times for 493 yards (5.5-yard average) and three touchdowns, is an unrestricted free agent and rookie fourth-round pick Johnathan Franklin suffered a season-ending neck injury after contributing little (19 carries, 107 yards) in his first season.

The door would certainly be open for Harris, who was the Packers' lone productive running back in 2012, to have a role. After his promotion to the 53-man roster from the practice squad, Harris carried 34 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season, then added 28 carries for 100 yards and two more TDs in the playoffs. He also caught two passes for 17 yards in the regular season and seven passes for 64 yards in the playoffs.

"It's going to be interesting for people to tune into it," Harris said of 2014. "Hopefully Starks comes back, hopefully I come back. None of us knows what's going to go on this offseason. There could be some surprises. Every year there's some surprises. We've just got to bust our butts. Hopefully everyone's healthy and we're a force to be reckoned with."
Offline blueleopard  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 2:47:22 PM(UTC)
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Starks was simply fantastic this year, but if he gets too expensive, I wouldn't mind going into next season with Lacy, Harris, and Franklin in the backfield.
Offline sschind  
#3 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:12:53 PM(UTC)
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If Starks leaves Harris will get his chance. We all know Lacy isn't going anywhere and I doubt Franklin is either so that leaves Harris and Starks. Will the Packers keep 4 RBs next year? Who knows. If they go into next season with Lacy, Starks, Franklin and Harris I'll be more than fine with it. If they decide to go with Lacy, Harris, and Franklin that would be OK as well.

I know players don't always say the right things and I'm sure lots of times they don't mean what they say but you gotta at least give Harris credit for saying "Hopefully Starks is back" Its is Starks is his biggest threat to making the team.
Offline DakotaT  
#4 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:17:54 PM(UTC)
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Packers won't be able to afford Starks, and Harris makes him expendable. I think our bases are covered. Besides, having 4 capable running backs is an unnecessary luxury when obvious glaring holes exist elsewhere on the roster.
Offline sschind  
#5 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:26:26 PM(UTC)
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DakotaT said: Go to Quoted Post
Packers won't be able to afford Starks, and Harris makes him expendable. I think our bases are covered. Besides, having 4 capable running backs is an unnecessary luxury when obvious glaring holes exist elsewhere on the roster.


You are probably right about affording Starks and its a luxury for sure but I wouldn't say unnecessary. Having 3 capable backups is ALWAYS a good thing if it doesn't hamper your salary cap.
Offline DoddPower  
#6 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:29:57 PM(UTC)
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sschind said: Go to Quoted Post
You are probably right about affording Starks and its a luxury for sure but I wouldn't say unnecessary. Having 3 capable backups is ALWAYS a good thing if it doesn't hamper your salary cap.


That's the problem though. It very likely WILL impact the salary cap. I think the Packers need two dependable borderline #1 running backs given Lacy's physical running style. I would love to see Starks back, but I think Harris and Franklin could get it done. Starks will likely be too expensive, although I'm sure the Packers could afford to keep him if they really wanted to. It may be a wise decision. I really doubt Starks will be incredibly expensive, but who knows. Given how cheap Harris and Franklin probably are, it's not a bad idea. But still, keeping four RBs and a FB is a little excessive on a team with many needs.

Offline rabidgopher04  
#7 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:35:10 PM(UTC)
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DuJuan Harris? Oh yeah. I forgot about that guy.
Online beast  
#8 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:37:30 PM(UTC)
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I want another physical RB behind Lacy, in case something happens to Lacy.

Yes they got Harris and Franklin but both of them were on the IR and can you trust and count on them that they won't again?

but some interesting names out there if Packers are willing to grab anyone in FA (I doubt it at RB).


Toby Gerhart, Vikings ~ Packers fans really say he's poor and only a back-up but he's flashed some really good games and has been behind AP so could he be a very good back-up or even a starter on another team? I think it's possible. Also his brother is a Center on the Packers practice squad.

Rashad Jennings, Raiders~ i got a feeling the Raiders are going to try to resign him. Jennings is a guy I've like since he was in the draft and I wanted the Packers to draft him. Got drafted to the Jags and didn't really get to show anything with Maurice Jones-Drew there. Went to the Raiders flashed some potential.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jags ~ He'll only be 29... of course 29 is old for a RB, and he'll probably be looking for big money and want to be starter.

Darren McFadden, Raiders ~ Very talented but very injury prone... might do him some good being a back-up though, if no one throws big money his way who knows...


Though i see resigning Starks as more likely or grabbing someone in the draft.
Offline steveishere  
#9 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 3:57:30 PM(UTC)
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Rashad Jennings I think is a really good back but I think the Raiders are going to re sign him to be their starter. I wanted us to draft Gerhart and I like him but I think someone will over pay him. Pass on McFadden. Out of all those I'd rather keep Starks but I won't be surprised if he gets a good offer from someone. I think Harris and Franklin have shown enough ability that they'd be adequate back ups. We don't need to over pay for a RB behind Lacy, I don't see it as a big enough priority. I think we just keep the guys we've got.
Offline luigis  
#10 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2014 4:20:45 PM(UTC)
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Lacy, Harris and Starks will be a very good group of RBs.

I don't see Jonathan Franklin making the roster next year regardless of what happens with Starks and Harris.

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