Harris was having another fantastic year for the Broncos, recording 65 combined tackles with three interceptions before being severely injured during the divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers on January 13. The blow to his knee sent him to an MRI machine where he was diagnosed with a partially torn ACL.
Harris was the 9th-ranked cornerback in the 2013 regular season according to ProFootballFocus.com, and he played so well that he ended up ranked fifth overall in 2013, including playoffs. Fifth in the league for cornerbacks is a prime example of how Harris is viewed throughout the league.
A three-year starter in Denver, Harris' career started with the Broncos in 2011 as a shutdown corner that opposing receivers despised lining up against him. The durable 24-year-old Harris has a career 210 combined tackles, 10 interceptions and 2.5 sacks, and has played in all but one game for the Broncos since he joined the franchise.
|Jeffery Beall via Wikimedia Commons|
After the AFC Championship win, and the subsequent Super Bowl loss, the Broncos are now hopeful to have a healthy Harris back in time for training camp in July. Even though he is set to become a restricted free agent on March 11th, the Broncos are fully expected to extend a first or second round tender to their favorite cornerback.
Only ten days after his ACL surgery, Harris says he is off crutches and is "way ahead of schedule" in the rehab process. Some could praise Harris' surgeon, the renowned Dr. James Andrews who is considered one of the best in sports. Or it could be the fact that his ACL was only partially torn, making rehabilitation easier.
Others credit the young cornerback's perseverance and strength for his quick recovery. After all, this is a man that actually went undrafted, got a chance with the Broncos, and is now hailed as one of the best corners in the NFL. Harris has made a career out of surprising even his worst critics, and a simple ACL tear is merely a bump in the road for this outstanding young athlete.
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