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Harris Returns with Start, Strong Game in Loss


2008 Week 14 - Jets at 49ers Photos

Many wondered how Jets ILB David Harris would fare upon returning from the groin injury he sustained in the Week 8 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury had kept him sidelined ever since, but Jets head coach Eric Mangini said late last week that he was optimistic about Harris' return and the linebacker finally suited up in San Francisco.

"I was fine, I was fine," Harris said when asked about his health after his start in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the 49ers. "I was good enough to play, so I have no excuses."

Harris performed well, leading the defense with 13 tackles, including a half sack.

"We just didn't execute," he said. "We didn't play our game. Give credit to San Francisco, they came out and wanted it more and the outcome showed that. We've got to come back tomorrow, look at the film, make corrections and put this game behind us and look forward to Buffalo."

The Jets are still in first place in the AFC East, but now they share the top spot with New England and Miami, all at 8-5. Harris said this loss could serve as motivation heading into the last three games of the regular season.

"We have to use this for the future because we know how precious these last few games are in terms of positioning in the playoffs," he said. "So we need to go into every game with the mentality to win. We can't have this happen again."

Harris said the Jets' defense wasn't caught off guard by the 49ers, whose 375 yards on offense more than doubled the Jets' 182 yards.

"We didn't make adjustments," Harris said about the team following halftime. "We just knew all the mistakes were just technique and not using our help, like leveraging the ball. We missed a couple of tackles. They cut back on us a couple of times and they just got us.

"We had a good game plan coming in. ... We just didn't play it like we knew how to play and it hurt us. We couldn't get off the field on third down. They were able to throw the ball, able to run the ball in key situations. It's a tough loss."

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