Packers win, but Kampman and Harris suffer injuries

With their 30-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers leapt back into the playoff hunt in the NFC. But unfortunately for them, they may be without two defensive starters for the rest of the season.

According to beat writer Greg Bedard, outside linebacker Aaron Kampman and cornerback Al Harris have torn ACLs and both will likely miss the remainder of the 2009 season.

At 35, Harris’ could be a career-ender. He was carted off the field Sunday and couldn’t walk in the locker room, and chances are he’ll need reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. Tramon Williams will start at right corner in Harris’ place.

Kampman was in the midst of having a horrible season while trying to convert from defensive end to outside linebacker. Given that he’s a free agent at the end of the year, it’s doubtful that Green Bay will re-sign Kampman. And even if the team had interest, it’s more doubtful that he’d even be interested in coming back to play outside linebacker. He just isn’t a fit for the 3-4.

Save for a brutal effort against Tampa three weeks ago, Green Bay’s defense had been playing well over the past month. Given how poorly Kampman was playing, the Packers defense might not suffer much in the long haul. But it remains to be seen how Williams will hold up when teams start attacking his side of the field more frequently.

As for the game, the Packers held off a late 49ers’ rally to secure victory. Green Bay jumped out to a 30-10 fourth quarter lead, but Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 10:37 remaining to cut the Packers’ lad to 30-17, then running back Frank Gore hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass with 5:56 to make it a 30-24 game.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had an outstanding game, throwing for 344 yards on 32-of-45 passing and two touchdowns. Ryan Grant rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.


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