Bowles confirmed Monday that Harris suffered "a bad bruise" on Saturday night against the New York Giants and that X-rays were negative. On Sunday, sources indicated that Harris is expected to play Sept. 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Not surprisingly, Bowles was noncommittal.
"We'll see how it gets up into game week and see how it feels," the coach said. "Obviously, I'm sure David doesn't want to miss, but right now it's too early to tell."
Harris has started 116 consecutive games, dating to the 2008 season. That's a remarkable streak, considering the nature of his position and his every-down role. He's vital to the defense because, in essence, he's the quarterback, relaying calls from the sideline and making on-field adjustments.
If Harris can't play, they'd probably use Erin Henderson in the "Mike" position, elevating rookie Darron Lee into the adjacent starting role. Their most experienced backup is Bruce Carter, but he suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday night and could miss some time.
In other injury news, oft-injured cornerback Dee Milliner missed practice with a "tight hamstring," as Bowles called it. Asked if the injury is serious, Bowles said, "Not to my knowledge. We'll see." The Jets might be losing patience with the former first-round pick, who has missed 27 out of 48 games due to various injuries. Milliner isn't a lock to make the roster, so it behooves him to get on the field as soon as possible.