San Francisco 49ers running back DuJuan Harris has bounced on and off the roster multiple times this season, almost too many times to count on your fingers. He was picked up by the team in 2015 when injuries to Carlos Hyde and Mike Davis had the team needing help to finish the season. He played in two games last season, and rushed 27 times for 140 yards giving him an average of 5.2 yards per carry.
He entered Sunday’s week 7 contest with a bang, running three straight carries for 28 yards. He finished with 11 carries for 39 yards, and two receptions for 18 yards. He spoke about what the team needs to do during the bye week to turn things around:
How does it feel to go out there with fresh legs?
Even [the] practice squad is broken down after a week, you know? It’s a tough job. I never understood fresh legs, not the way I run. My massages? They don’t feel good. No feel good massages for me ever. I mean I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know if I’d call my legs fresh or not. I mean I can run, they’re not broken so they’re pretty fresh.
The offense started of pretty well. What happened? It’s been the same week after week.
We make little minor mistakes and teams take advantage of, those turnovers or three and outs. Once they take advantage of it and score, it’s tough to come back in this league. We just gotta stop shooting ourselves in the foot and we’ll be fine. Play our game and we’ll be good. We still got a good team, we gotta stay healthy, That’s the main thing so this bye week coming up, guys gotta take care of their bodies and stay out of trouble. We got a lot of time.
Did you have any clue how much you would play today?
No, I never know. I don’t even know if I’ll wake up tomorrow you know, but I gotta be ready for it. SO, that’s my mindset on everything. Just be ready for whatever.
You played a fair amount after you got in. Do you think that was reflection of how you played?
You never know. This league, it’s the way the game goes. If it flows a certain way, you may see more time, if not, you might not. You know I’ve been on each end of that but they want me to be in, so I just have to focus on what I have to do.
You’ve been on the roster, off the roster several times. How do you deal with that?
It’s part of the game. It’s how the game goes. I just gotta do my part by staying available. It paid off, I played today, so now, just gotta focus on next week, rest our bodies this week. Everybody gotta be smart and we’ll just come back ready for the next game.
How would you describe the mood in the locker room?
Everyone is pissed you know? It’s not fun to lose but we gotta look past it now. It’s over. Clock struck zero so we got focus on the next one. We can't dwell on it, if we do, the season is going to be twice as long as it already is. So, gotta get ready for the next one, man, gotta move on.
This isn’t the first time that the offense started out strong and then sputtered. Is it the defense adjusting or lack of execution?
We just gotta execute. we’re not pointing fingers in this locker room, it’s the last thing we need to do. All the guys in here are pros and they know that. All the vets know that’s something we don’t need to do, not at this point. We just lost six in a row so last thing we need to do is point fingers. It’s everyone, it’s a whole team effort, it’s the entire team. We just gotta fix our mistakes, stop shooting ourselves in the foot, play our game and have fun. We start out doing it, we just gotta keep it up.
It’s easy to pile on when it’s like this when a team loses six in a row. You still all have to look at each other in this locker room. What can you salvage out of this season and what can you do moving forward?
We’re all we got, simple as that. We’re all we got no matter what happens. We’ve got to stick together and finish strong. We’ve got to keep fighting. We can’t let our heads down for the rest of the season. It’s still a long season ahead. We can still make some things happen.
You are a professional football player and there’s still a lot of football to be played, so I guess you have to look at it that way?
Yeah, definitely. This one’s over. We’ve just got to focus on this Bye week, rest our bodies, and stay out of trouble. Everybody’s got to do the right thing and we’ll come back and take care of business.