Every Player’s Worst Nightmare: Kampman & Harris both tear ACL’s
by Tommy Silverstein, Journal Sentinel
Nov 23, 2009
Almost as though it was from a lighting bolt in the sky, two valuable members of the Green Bay Packers went down Sunday, struck with the same brutal, season-ending injury that is every player’s worst nightmare.
On two plays that could turn the Packers’ potentially promising season on its ear, linebacker Aaron Kampman and cornerback Al Harris suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments in their left knees. Lambeau Field has been home to both players for quite some time, but it was their enemy Sunday.
Both players suffered almost no contact when their knees gave out.
Neither injury was confirmed by the team, but a league source affirmed that the preliminary diagnosis was the dreaded ACL tear and that MRIs taken Monday will be taken to confirm the results.
The injuries turned what should have been a celebratory locker room following a 30-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers into a slightly tentative one. The players were happy to improve to 6-4 and get themselves back in the playoff race with a second consecutive victory, but the injuries were what most players and coaches were asked about.
“Both Aaron and Al, you lose two of your better players, you hate to see that happen,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “They’re very critical to us.”
Kampman was returning from a one-game absence due to a concussion and was playing well, getting his first sack since the Cleveland game Oct. 25 and posting a team-high four tackles. Then, with the 49ers facing second and 20 at their own 38, Kampman charged from his outside linebacker position at right tackle Adam Snyder. Just as he got his hands on Snyder, Kampman’s left leg gave way.
It was clear right away that the injury was serious by the way Kampman clutched it, and team physician Pat McKenzie spent time testing it for laxity. Kampman was taken to the sideline and then driven off the field on a cart with 7 minutes, 42 seconds left.
It was a little less than a quarter later when Harris suffered a similar fate. Covering wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the slot, Harris trailed him as he ran a deep out and then fell to the ground without any contact.
Harris, who was briefly in the locker room after the game, said only, “My foot got caught in the ground.”
His injury was so severe that he wasn’t able to walk off the field and needed a cart to come on the field and take him away. In the locker room, he needed assistance walking away from his locker after getting dressed.
“I know Al Harris is a tough guy, so if he’s down on the ground, you know something had to have happened,” cornerback Tramon Williams said. “It’s always tough to see a fellow teammate go down. We’re like family here.” Full story here