Amid news that the highly touted rookie Eddie Lacy might miss the Packers' preseason opener against the Cardinals, head coach Mike McCarthy told USA Today that he sees running back DuJuan Harris as Green Bay's "starter" at the position.
"I'm excited to see when DuJuan Harris comes back, because I view him as our starter," McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. "I want him to get back in there and earn it like he did all of last year. He made an impact in our offense."
The Packers are in an unfamiliar position of having more than a couple of running backs who could compete for carries this year and play at a high level. In addition to Harris and Lacy, the team also drafted Johnathan Franklin out of UCLA in the fourth round; Green Bay also brought back James Starks and Alex Green from last season.
Green led the team in carries in 2012, taking the ball 135 times for 464 yards and 3.4 yards per carry, whereas Starks had 71 carries for 255 yards and just 3.6 yards per carry. In limited action, Harris ran the ball 34 times for 157 yards and 4.6 yards per carry. In two playoff games, Harris carried the ball 28 times for 100 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Harris had a cyst removed from his lung in the offseason and is currently missing practices with a knee injury that could keep him out for at least one preseason game, if not more.
It appears that McCarthy still views the job as Harris' to lose, but if Lacy returns to the field soon or one of the veterans steps up, he might not hold onto it for much longer.