Agent awaits word on Harris

Harris, who has played in all 163 career regular-season games, "doesn't know what to do with himself," agent Jack Bechta says.

The agent for Al Harris said the Green Bay Packers' injured cornerback "doesn't know what to do with himself" as he awaits word on whether his ruptured spleen will end his season.

Jack Bechta on Tuesday afternoon told Packer Report he's awaiting a second opinion on the injury. He expected to get it by Wednesday afternoon.

Being injured is unfamiliar territory for Harris. Though he's been slowed by on-again, off-again low-back pain for the last year, Harris entered the season having played in all 16 games in all 10 NFL seasons. Including three games this year, Harris has played in all 163 professional games, including 83 consecutive regular-season starts since being acquired by the Packers before the 2003 season.

"He doesn't know what to do with himself. He's never been hurt, so it's hard on Al," Bechta said.

Bechta said there was nothing new to report since Monday, when news broke that the reason blood was found in Harris' urine during Sunday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys was a ruptured spleen.

If the injury is minor, the spleen can heal on its own. If the rupture is severe, though, surgery is required or — in the case of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms — the organ is removed.

Either way, Harris' season likely is over. Even if the injury is minor enough that it can heal without surgery, doctors likely would not want Harris to risk re-rupturing the spleen, in which case surgery or removal would be necessary.

If removal is necessary, Harris' career is in jeopardy. In Simms' case, he missed the final 13 games of the 2006 season and all of 2007. Harris turns 34 in December, so he'd be 35 if he couldn't return until the 2010 season.

The spleen, located on the upper left side of the abdomen, plays a key role in the body's immune system by filtering blood and destroying bacteria. Simms, talking to reporters after signing with the Tennessee Titans, said rehab was difficult.

"I really had to work hard to find the right people to help me out, to get back to the way I was before the injury," he said. "I'm the only guy I know of who lost their spleen playing football, and has a 10-inch scar going right down the middle of their stomach."

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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