Only six active players in the NFL have started more consecutive games than David Harris.
Unfortunately for the Jets inside linebacker, his streak could be coming to an end Monday night in Arizona.
Harris missed Jets practice for the third straight day Friday because of a hamstring injury he sustained in a loss to the Steelers last weekend, and the prognosis is dubious. When asked Friday how he’s feeling, Harris said, ‘OK, I guess.”
Todd Bowles wasn’t any more convincing.
“Right now, he hasn’t come out there yet. So unless he comes out there in the next couple days, it will be slim,” Bowles said Friday of Harris’ chances to play. “He still has a few days to get better.”
Because the Jets play Monday night, they have an extra day before taking the field, which Harris said “should come in handy.”
According to Bowles, the team will hold a “walkthrough/jog-through” practice Saturday morning in Florham Park before flying out later that day. Then the Jets will have another walkthrough Sunday morning in Arizona.
David Harris, seen here in action last season, has missed practice this week with hamstring injury.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
That means even if Harris participates on Saturday or Sunday, he won’t have the opportunity to partake in a full-fledged practice, another ominous sign. The Jets will release official game statuses Saturday afternoon. Harris will travel with the team and be a game-time decision.
“It’s a huge hit for our defense,” said Darrelle Revis, who practiced Friday for the first time since suffering his own hamstring injury against the Seahawks on Oct. 2. “But the next guy’s got to step up in his absence.”
Harris is staying “optimistic.” After all, he’s been perhaps the most durable player at his position over his 10-year career in the NFL. Entering Week 6, Harris has played in 121 straight games, all of which he’s started. Only QB Eli Manning (181 games), QB Phillip Rivers (165), TE Jason Witten (152), OT Joe Thomas (149), OT Donald Penn (145) and CB Brandon Carr (133) have longer active start streaks.
The last time Harris didn’t start a Jets game was Nov. 30, 2008, when Brett Favre was the quarterback and Eric Mangini was patrolling the sidelines for a 34-17 home loss to the Broncos.
“It means a lot to me. I try to be dependable. I just try to be there for my teammates,” Harris, 32, said of his streak. “I try to be out there at all times, no matter what the record is or who we’re playing against. I hate missing time, and I’m gonna try to do everything I can do be out there.”
Harris said his current injury is the first hamstring problem he’s dealt with in his pro career.
“Just handle it like any other injury,” Harris said. “It’s been a long week. I’ve spent a lot of long hours in there with (the trainers) to try and get back on the field.”
The Jets won’t be able to replace Harris with one player. Revis called Harris “the quarterback of the defense,” and the linebacker’s leadership and football IQ are perhaps his most valuable assets.
Bowles said a combination of three players — Erin Henderson (eighth season) Darron Lee (rookie) and Bruce Carter (sixth season) — will fill in for Harris on Monday not if he is unable to play. Who plays and when will depend on the packages, according to Bowles.
“You got to roll with the punches,” Bowles said. “Obviously he’s a great player and he’s played a long time and he understands the game. But we have to have other guys step, and we’ve got some veterans behind him that’s played in this league before.”
Harris believes in the teammates behind him on the depth chart.
“I know what type of guys they are. I know how they’re being coached. I know how they take things in,” Harris said. “We’re a tight-knit group. So I have confidence in anybody we put out there.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News