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Saturday, August 24, 2013 5:32:50 AM(UTC)
Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — Just when it looked like the Green Bay Packers were getting healthy, Friday night arrived. And with it, five players — including four key contributors — leaving with injuries.
Not only did the Packers lose the game, 17-10, to the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field, they also lost running back DuJuan Harris (knee), safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring), inside linebacker Brad Jones (hamstring) and cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring) to injuries. Longshot outside linebacker Jarvis Reed also left the game, with an ankle injury.
"I don't feel good about the injuries," Packers coach Mike McCarthy admitted afterward. "It's something that's going on through the league. It's part of the game of football. It factors into your decisions. That's the way it goes. We've just got to get these guys back.
"It's a little surprising that we had this many injuries tonight. We'll see how these guys feel in the morning. Maybe it's not as bad as we may think right now."
Burnett, Jones and Hayward were not in the Packers' locker room when reporters entered after the game, so it was unclear how severe their injuries were.
A serious injury to Burnett would be a big blow, as the Packers have been trying to figure out whether M.D. Jennings or Jerron McMillian will start alongside him. Undrafted rookie Chris Banjo made a strong case for the No. 4 safety job Friday night, but Burnett, who just signed a four-year, $24.75 million extension ($8.25 million signing bonus), is vital to the defense.
Jones, who signed a three-year, $11.75 million deal to return as an unrestricted free agent, is having a solid camp and has earned the coaches' trust. However, the Packers are deep at inside linebacker and could get by without him for a bit if the injury sidelines him for several weeks.
Hayward had just returned to practice on Monday after spending the first three weeks of training camp on the physically unable to perform list with a hamstring injury he suffered a week before camp opened on July 26. McCarthy said it's the same hamstring Hayward injured on Friday night.
Harris returned to practice last week after a knee injury kept him out the entire offseason and landed him on PUP to start camp. McCarthy said the injury was to the same knee but Harris dismissed it as being anything to worry about. He was injured with 9 minutes 50 seconds to play in the first half after having carried three times for 2 yards.
"I'm good, I'm good. I walked on my own power so everything's fine," Harris said. "We'll see how it feels in the morning and go from there. The trainers will know what I need to do and whatnot. I'll be fine."
Meanwhile, veteran special teams ace Jarrett Bush was held out of the game with an ankle injury he suffered in practice during the week.
"We tried to take him through the workouts but we pretty much knew that he wasn't going to play in the game coming off the practice field the other day," McCarthy said. "Obviously, not having inactives and things like that, we still wanted him to go through the workouts and see where he is. He's a warrior. For him to miss a game, it had to be something significant."
Bush was one of 13 players who did not play Friday night, along with wide receiver Omarius Hines (unknown); wide receiver Randall Cobb (biceps); cornerback James Nixon (knee/ankle); safety Sean Richardson (neck); cornerback Tramon Williams (knee); outside linebacker Andy Mulumba (knee); tackle JC Tretter (ankle); left tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee); tackle Derek Sherrod (leg); tight end Matthew Mulligan (elbow); wide receiver Jordy Nelson (knee); and defensive end Jerel Worthy (knee).
"We were on a six-day week," said McCarthy, whose team closes preseason play at Kansas City on Thursday. "We were pretty smart with our guys throughout this week and we'll have to be even smarter with them going into Kansas City."
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