Mike McCarthy: 'I view DuJuan Harris as our starter' at running back

It likely will be a couple weeks before DuJuan Harris returns to practice. (USATSI)
It likely will be a couple weeks before DuJuan Harris returns to practice. (USATSI)

Just because Eddie Lacy was the fourth running back to go off the 2013 draft board and just because Green Bay nabbed him in the second round, that doesn’t mean he’s sewn up a starting job this early in the preseason.

And Packers coach Mike McCarthy is here to confirm that.

"I'm excited to see when DuJuan Harris comes back, because I view him as our starter," McCarthy told USA Today. "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."

Harris actually was one of five Packers running backs who got at least one start last season (that list includes Cedric Benson, Alex Green, James Starks and Ryan Grant), and though Harris didn’t get many touches -- he was fifth on the team in carries (34) and yards gained (157) - he did enough to impress McCarthy.

But before we hand over the starting gig to Harris, it should be noted that Lacy is coming off a strong intrasquad scrimmage performance last weekend.

Also, Harris underwent surgery in June to remove a fist-sized cyst from his lung. Plus, you know, Harris hasn’t practiced and likely is still a couple weeks away from doing so, meaning Lacy and Starks have had the opportunity to impress the coaching staff in Harris’ absence.

All of which leads us to believe that, no matter what McCarthys says, Harris has an uphill climb in order to get that starting job.

"These young guys are competing, doing good things," McCarthy said. "Eddie and Johnathan [Franklin, the team’s fourth-round draft pick] have done a lot of good things in their opportunities. They're young, and they've still got a lot of growth. Alex is fighting through a knee [injury]. James, this is his best training camp. We're better today than we were last year."

That most likely will be true whether Harris starts or not.

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