Harris latched on with the Packers in 2012 after stops in both Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, rushing for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries over four games. He figured to factor heavily into Green Bay's backfield rotation, with McCarthy going as far as to name Harris the starter during the preseason.
His absence will leave the running back workload spread out over the likes of Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, Alex Green and James Starks. The Packers could choose to use IR/Designated to Return on Harris, which would allow him to return after Week 6, but that announcement had not been made. The Packers don't need this quartet to emerge as a powerhouse, but simply a competent, respectable alternative to the passing game that can excel at blitz pickup and help prevent Aaron Rodgers from getting killed.
By almost every account, rookie fourth-rounder Johnathan Franklin has struggled to meet expectations this preseason. Considered by many a steal in the fourth round, Franklin has rushed for just 23 yards this preseason on nine carries, with a long of four yards. Franklin amassed 2,057 yards rushing and receiving in his senior season at UCLA, but he won't get the volume of carries with the Packers to make the same impact. He will need to make the most of his touches and bust off a few big plays if he wants to continue to see playing time.
Alex Green saw action in 12 games last year for the Packers after being limited in his 2011 rookie campaign with an injury. His 464 rushing yards last season were tops on the squad, but Green still seems to be the forgotten man of sorts in the Green Bay backfield this preseason. He has had one of the few big plays for the Packers in the exhibition schedule to date, taking a toss 31 yards up the left sideline to convert a 2nd & 16 play midway through the fourth quarter on Friday night against Seattle.
In just his fourth season, James Starks is the de facto veteran in the Green Bay rushing attack. He missed most of 2012 with a knee injury after leading the Packers with 578 yards rushing in 2011. His name has been thrown around in trade speculation before Harris' injury, but it seems likely that he will stick around with Green Bay, at least for now.