Former Green Bay Packers cornerback Al Harris, who spent seven seasons with the Packers from 2003-09, has retired after 14 NFL seasons.
Harris announced the decision over the St. Louis Rams’ Twitter page on Wednesday. Another knee injury factored heavily into his decision.
Harris tore his right ACL while making a tackle back in Week 10 and has surgery scheduled on the knee for Jan. 13. The Rams placed him on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 14.
“That’s just God’s way of telling me it’s time to turn the page. I had an awesome time,” Harris said through Twitter. “I thank God for Spags [Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo] giving me the opportunity to come out and I hope I left a positive impression on everybody.”
Harris said that he’d like to stay involved in football through coaching in the future.
In his seven years with the Packers, Harris made 102 regular season starts and intercepted 14 passes.
The Packers acquired him during the offseason in 2002 by trading the Philadelphia Eagles a second-round selection for Harris and a fourth-round pick. Harris went on to start the next 80 games for the Packers at cornerback, pushing himself into the elite status at the position with his patented bump-and-run style.
The most memorable moment in Harris’ Packers career came during the 2003 NFC Wildcard game against the Seattle Seahawks, as he intercepted an over-confident Matt Hasselbeck in overtime (“We want the ball and we’re going to score, Hasselbeck said after winning the overtime coin toss) and returned it for a game-winning touchdown.
Harris would then go onto to make the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008, and was an All-Pro pick in ’07.
During the 2009 season, Harris had a catastrophic injury to his left knee on a non-contact play against the San Francisco 49ers. He suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), lateral cruciate ligament (LCL), fibular cruciate ligament (FCL), iliotibial band and lateral hamstring. Harris had surgery eight days later and missed the rest of the ’09 season.
GM Ted Thompson put him on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start the 2010 season, but Harris would never play another down for the Green Bay Packers. He was released on Nov. 8, 2010.