Just when it appeared the Green Bay Packers were turning the corner on injuries, they lost four starters during Friday’s preseason loss to Seattle.
Safety Morgan Burnett, cornerback Casey Hayward and inside linebacker Brad Jones exited with hamstring injuries and DuJuan Harris was knocked out with an injured knee. The severity of the injuries wasn’t available.
“I don't feel good about the injuries,” coach Mike McCarthy said following a 17-10 defeat. “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.”
For Hayward and Harris, who were making their preseason debuts, it was aggravations of the same injuries that kept them out for most of training camp.
Hayward had an interception and an excellent open-field tackle on big Robert Turbin but wasn’t on the field after halftime. Burnett’s last play was the third-and-goal on the opening series. Jones played the first quarter but didn’t stay on the field for the start of the second. Harris was injured when tackled after an 11-yard screen midway through the second quarter.
Harris got the start and finished with 2 yards on three rushes and 11 yards on the reception. He got the start and had runs of 3 and 4 yards on the opening series. The 4-yarder on a draw had the potential to be much longer, but Harris took it up the middle rather than running through a void on the right side.
“I feel like I could’ve hit that one,” he said. “I just have to get back in the groove. I know everybody expects me to get back and break the first carry, but you have to take your time and be patient. I did what I could but we’ll get everything back rolling.”
The vision comes with reps, but Harris is in danger of not getting those reps if he’s unable to play in Thursday’s preseason finale at Kansas City.
“I had a little taste in this game,” he said. “We’ll find it real quick. You’ve got to get in a groove. It takes everybody to get in that zone. We’ll be fine. We’ll be all right.”
Also lost during the game was rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Reed (ankle).
After having 17 players sit out the first preseason game and 15 the second, the Packers produced a slimmed-down “will not dress” list of 10 players for Friday night’s game.
Out were receiver Randall Cobb (bicep), cornerback James Nixon (knee/ankle), safety Sean Richardson (neck), cornerback Tramon Williams (knee), offensive linemen J.C. Tretter (ankle), Bryan Bulaga (knee) and Derek Sherrod (leg), tight end Matthew Mulligan (elbow), receiver Jordy Nelson (knee) and defensive end Jerel Worthy (knee). Cornerback Jarrett Bush (ankle) was held out of the game, as was linebacker Andy Mulumba (knee).
First-round pick Datone Jones, who injured an ankle on his first snap two weeks ago against Arizona and didn’t play last week, returned to action after aggravating the injury at Wednesday’s practice. He didn’t record any tackles, and his offside penalty nullified a sack by Mike Daniels.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.