GREEN BAY – DuJuan Harris has not participated in any of the Green Bay Packers’ organized team activity practices thusfar this offseason, and the team’s starting running back at season’s end was conspicuously absent at Tuesday and Wednesday’s mandatory minicamp practices.
Now we know why.
Harris posted an Instagram photo on his Twitter page during Wednesday’s practice showing himself in the hospital and said that during a pre-minicamp physical that doctors discovered a cyst on his lung near his heart.
He later Tweeted that everything was fine and that he should be back to “110%” soon. Here are his series of Tweets:
Thank God for team physicals!!! instagram.com/p/aLsBFGgM7J/— DuJuan Harris (@Ol_sLy_Foxx) June 5, 2013
EVERYTHING IS FINE, dr.s found a fist sized cyst on my lung next to my heart. Shows the importance of getting routine check-ups, GET YOURS!— DuJuan Harris (@Ol_sLy_Foxx) June 5, 2013
It's a #blessing!!! Should be 110% very soon and back to work. Thanks for the prayers and keeping me lifted!!! MUCH LOVE— DuJuan Harris (@Ol_sLy_Foxx) June 5, 2013
Harris had attended the open OTA practices but had not participated. Packers coach Mike McCarthy, citing the team’s offseason policy, wouldn’t comment on Harris’ situation, saying only that he would not be available for the rest of the offseason.
“DuJuan Harris will not be available for the remainder of the offseason program, and as we’ve stated before, we have a policy in place where we don’t get into the specifics of injuries at this time,” McCarthy said. “I’m confident that he will be ready for training camp.”
Harris’ agent, Dave Lee, said the cyst was first discovered on Monday when Harris had an x-ray, then confirmed by a CT scan. Because the cyst was so large, doctors felt it had been growing for quite awhile. Lee said that although he was worried when he first got the news -- Lee's wife is a doctor -- his client wasn't.
"The running joke at the hospital is that he can get three or four more plays and not be winded," Lee said. "Talking with DuJuan, even when he was a kid he would get some pressure on his chest. He was very thankful they found it. In his family, there's a history of the males having cysts, although none of that has been cancerous. I think overall he was very thankful. Surprisingly, he wasn’t afraid."
Harris ended last season as the team’s starting running back, rushing 28 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns while starting the team’s two playoff games and 34 times for 157 yards and two TDs in four regular-season games, including two starts. He will compete with rookie draft picks Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin for the starting job in training camp, along with fellow holdovers James Starks and Alex Green, who have worked most with the starters so far in minicamp.
Lee said his client hasn't been frightened of the competition, either.
"He put it in the best light, I think: He’s always been the guy fighting for a spot, so he knows what these guys are coming in to do," Lee said. "He’s looking forward to the competition. He wants the team to do better, and he knows there’s always going to be competition. Believe me, he doesn’t want to get cut."
Return to: Jason Wilde Blog