The injury bug won't let Michael Campanaro out of its grasp.
The third-year receiver has dealt with various issues throughout his NFL career, and he missed the last two practices because of "little strains," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
Campanaro was sidelined throughout the entire offseason program because of a calf injury, but he returned at full strength for the start of training camp. He has looked impressive when he's been on the field this summer, but has also sat out four of the team's 10 training camp practices.
Campanaro has missed time because of hamstring, groin, calf and back injuries during his first three seasons, and Harbaugh is disappointed to see another issue force him to the sidelines.
"Michael Campanaro is one of my favorite guys," Harbaugh said. "I love the guy because his work ethic is so outstanding and his attitude is just outstanding. Now he needs to get out there and play. He's working in the training room to get himself back."
Harbaugh did not provide a timetable for Campanaro's return, but said, "I'm confident that he will be back."
The latest injury is a tough blow for Campanaro given all the work he has put in over the last year to get his body better conditioned. Campanaro trained at the Under Armour Performance Center throughout the offseason, and felt like he was prepared to withstand the rigors of training camp.
"He's the most frustrated guy out of anybody right now because of all the work he's put in," Harbaugh said.
Campanaro knows he can't afford to be out for long because he's in the middle of a competition for a roster spot. Other receivers like Jeremy Butler, Chris Matthews and Keenan Reynolds are vying for time, and the coaching staff wants to see someone separate from the pack during the preseason.
"If you're not out there, you're not making plays. You have to show us not only that you can do it, but that you're going to be there to do it," Harbaugh said. "This roster is way too tight for anybody to be a project. It's going to be guys who are going to play."