FOXBORO, Mass. — Nothing signals the arrival of training camp like an injury scare.
And while Duron Harmon isn’t exactly Tom Brady — and his injury didn’t appear too serious — fellow safety Devin McCourty still found himself holding his breath when Harmon went down with a non-contact knee injury Saturday during the New England Patriots’ first fully padded training camp practice.
“You see a guy go down and not get up right away, it’s a bad feeling,” McCourty said after Saturday’s practice. “But hopefully Du’s all right. I’m sure he’ll get checked out and make sure everything’s OK.”
The Patriots would do well to keep Harmon on the field. The 26-year-old has progressed into a highly dependable free safety, forming a solid back-end duo with fellow Rutgers alum McCourty. Harmon’s strong play last year was enough for New England to ink him to a four-year, $20 million contract this March, news that McCourty was very happy to hear.
“It’s great for me,” McCourty said of having Harmon back. “He’s probably the closest guy I’m with on the team — we hang out a lot on and off the field.”
McCourty and Harmon overlapped just one year at Rutgers in 2009, when McCourty was a senior and Harmon was a freshman. But the safeties have developed a close bond, and McCourty is proud of the strides his younger teammate has taken.
“He’s gotten better each year he’s been here,” McCourty added. “The amount of work he puts in on and off the field — Du does a great job. He watches other safeties, he watches games from 2000, 2001, just trying to find an edge and get better as a player.
“So, it’s been great just to see him (develop). And obviously, I was extremely happy when he shot me the text to say he’s coming back.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images