Najee Harris

Pittsburgh Steelers
Running Back #22
Pittsburgh Steelers
Running Back #22
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Najee Harris News

Barely provides positive final line

Harris (elbow) rushed 12 times for 29 yards while catching both of his targets for a loss of one yard and losing a fumble in Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: Harris was able to suit up after injuring his elbow in the Steelers' regular-season finale, but a balky elbow can't explain away being stonewalled by the defense as a runner. Onlookers can probably attribute the lost fumble to the rookie's injury, as he safely secured every single touch during his first turn in the pros. The 2021 first-round pick finished the regular season with 1,667 combined yards and 10 combined touchdowns as the Steelers' workhorse over 17 games, giving him starter's appeal across all formats based on volume alone. However, a sub-par 3.9 yard per carry mark left much to be desired in terms of his abilities as a runner. Perhaps the spread nature of Pittsburgh's offensive scheme with Ben Roethlisberger under center handicapped the young back. Either way, we will see how Harris responds to potentially becoming the focal point of a new-look Steelers squad that will be without its leader for the past two decades.

Jan 16, 2022 11:14 PM EST


All set for Sunday

Harris (elbow), who was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, no longer carries an injury designation and will be available for the playoff contest.

Analysis: This was hardly a surprise given Harris was a full participant in Friday's practice. Given the pivotal nature of a playoff game, it would have been truly surprising to see the rookie unable to play, especially given his extensive workload this season. The rookie finished the 2021 season with 1,667 total yards on 381 total touches, easily the most among rookie ballcarriers in the last five years.

Jan 15, 2022 10:02 AM EST



Questionable for wild-card game

Harris (elbow) was a full practice participant Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's wild-card game against the Chiefs, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Though players that close weeks as full participant don't typically get designations ahead of games, the Steelers appear to be exercising more caution with Harris since he didn't practice in any capacity Wednesday or Thursday. Regardless, Pryor notes that while Harris declined to say whether he would be on the field Sunday, the rookie will presumably be on the field for the postseason opener and ready to take on his usual three-down workload so long as he didn't experience any setbacks with his elbow during Friday's practice. While playing in all 17 of the Steelers' regular-season games, Harris was one of the NFL's most heavily-used backs with averages of 18.1 carries and 5.5 targets per contest.

Jan 14, 2022 12:00 PM EST


Set to resume practicing Friday

Harris (elbow) remained a spectator for Thursday's practice, but head coach Mike Tomlin said the running back will be back on the field for Friday's session, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Tomlin mentioned that how Harris fares in Friday's workout will be telling for the rookie's availability for Sunday's wild-card game in Kansas City. Harris proved supremely durable during the regular season, approaching each of the Steelers' 17 contests without an injury designation while finishing with a league-high 381 touches (307 carries, 74 catches). However, after injuring his elbow early in Pittsburgh's Week 18 win over Baltimore, Harris could be at risk of taking a questionable tag into the playoff opener if he's anything less than a full participant at Friday's practice.

Jan 13, 2022 11:24 AM EST


Sits out Wednesday's practice

Harris (elbow) didn't practice Wednesday, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Coach Mike Tomlin previously indicated that Harris -- who suffered an elbow injury during this past weekend's win over the Ravens but was able to return to the game -- would likely take it slow to start the practice week, so the running back's Wednesday absence isn't surprising. His status will thus be worth monitoring ahead of Sunday night's playoff game against Kansas City, with Tomlin noting that the team will let Harris' "practice participation and how he feels be our guide as we get closer to game time." Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage are next up for added practice reps while Harris manages his elbow issue.

Jan 12, 2022 1:13 PM EST



Elbow injury lingering

Coach Mike Tomlin said Harris' elbow injury is expected to "slow him in the early portion of the week" as the Steelers prepare for Sunday's wild-card game at Kansas City, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.

Analysis: Harris got dinged up during the early stages of this past Sunday's eventual 16-13 overtime win at Baltimore but was able to gut out the issue, finishing with 15 touches for 55 yards on a season-low 53 percent share of offensive snaps. Tomlin's comments indicate Harris will be at least a limited participant Wednesday and may even kick off the week with a DNP, but where the running back stands by Friday will have more bearing on his availability for Sunday, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. Benny Snell is the next player up in the Steelers backfield if Harris isn't his normal self this weekend.

Jan 11, 2022 9:20 AM EST


Limited production in Week 18

Harris rushed 11 times for 28 yards while hauling in all four of his targets for 27 yards in Sunday's 16-13 OT win over the Ravens.

Analysis: Harris sustained an elbow injury in the first quarter of Sunday's regular-season finale but was able to play through the issue for most of the game. The 23-year-old struggled to generate much efficiency, but he helped lead the Steelers to the win -- and a likely postseason berth -- with a 15-yard run late in overtime. Harris appeared in all 17 games during the regular season of his rookie campaign, and he had 307 carries for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns while securing 74 of 94 targets for 467 yards and three touchdowns.

Jan 9, 2022 1:45 PM EST


Big game against Browns

Harris rushed 28 times for 188 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 26-14 win over the Browns. He also caught all three of his targets for 18 yards.

Analysis: Harris fueled Pittsburgh's offense all evening, posting a new career high on the ground while setting the franchise's record for rookie rushing yards in a season along the way. The first-rounder put an exclamation point on Monday's victory with a 37-yard touchdown run on a third-and-two play with under a minute remaining, marking his longest play of the season. Following a dominant effort, Harris will strive to keep his momentum going in Week 18 versus the Ravens, when he'll surely be important in the Steelers' effort to still sneak into the playoffs.

Jan 3, 2022 8:50 PM EST


Goes over 100 yards from scrimmage

Harris ran for 93 yards on 19 carries and caught five passes for 17 yards on seven targets against Kansas City on Sunday.

Analysis: Harris ran hard against the Chiefs defense despite getting let down by the offense around him, especially the Pittsburgh passing game. While the Steelers passing game is likely to continue struggling and the burden of that might continue falling disproportionately on Harris, he also has already shown the ability to produce despite the poor circumstances in a number of games this year. Even though his Week 17 matchup with Cleveland isn't easy on paper, Harris' high usage gives him a shot to stand out. Harris ran for 91 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries and added three receptions for 29 yards the first time he faced Cleveland.

Dec 26, 2021 5:18 PM EST


Doesn't get going

Harris rushed the ball 12 times for 18 yards in Sunday's 19-13 win over Tennessee. He added two receptions for eight yards.

Analysis: Harris had trouble getting going throughout the game and was limited to fewer than 15 carries for only the fourth time this season. He came close to finding the end zone late in the third quarter but was denied just short of the goal line, only to have Ben Roethlisberger sneak in for a touchdown on the following play. Despite the fact that Harris has recorded multiple receptions in every game since Week 1, he's been held to 20 receiving yards or fewer in four of his last five contests.

Dec 19, 2021 1:42 PM EST


Pair of touchdowns in win

Harris rushed 20 times for 94 yards and a touchdown and brought in all three targets for 10 yards and another score in the Steelers' 36-28 loss to the Vikings on Thursday night.

Analysis: Harris, like the rest of the Steelers offense, got off to a completely forgettable start over the first two quarters. However, the rookie turned it around during a second half in which Pittsburgh nearly pulled off an improbable comeback, with Harris playing a key role by finding the end zone on a three-yard scoring grab and one-yard touchdown run in the third and fourth quarter, respectively. Harris has now exceeded 100 scrimmage yards in back-to-back contests, and his rushing yardage Thursday served as the third highest of his career thus far. The 2021 first-round pick's next chance to enhance his impressive resume comes versus the Titans in a Week 15 battle a week from Sunday.

Dec 9, 2021 9:46 PM EST


Tops 100 yards from scrimmage

Harris rushed 21 times for 71 yards while hauling in all five of his targets for 36 yards in Sunday's 20-19 win over the Ravens.

Analysis: Harris had been limited to just 96 yards from scrimmage on 28 touches across the last two weeks, but he had plenty of volume in Sunday's narrow victory. The rookie has now topped 20 carries in four of his six appearances since Pittsburgh's Week 7 bye, but he's averaged just 3.4 yards per carry during that time. He'll face a more favorable opponent during next week's matchup against Minnesota.

Dec 5, 2021 4:55 PM EST


11 touches in blowout loss

Harris rushed eight times for 23 yards and caught three of five targets for 14 yards in Sunday's 41-10 loss to the Bengals.

Analysis: Harris was victimized by another poor game script when the Steelers found themselves in a 31-3 hole at halftime. The rookie back has been steadily utilized as a receiver out of the backfield this season -- averaging 4.9 receptions per game heading into this contest -- but he wasn't able to gain traction in either facet of the offensive gameplan against Cincinnati. Harris is still the clear workhorse in Pittsburgh's backfield, so he should resume seeing higher usage rates if the team can simply keep games closer. They will attempt to do that in another important AFC North showdown against the Ravens next Sunday.

Nov 28, 2021 2:13 PM EST


TD saves quiet game

Harris rushed 12 times for 39 yards and a touchdown while adding 20 yards on five receptions (six targets) in Sunday's 41-37 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: Harris struggled to gain traction early in the contest, then fell victim to an unfavorable game script. The 12 carries were his second-lowest total this year, and the 4.0 yards per catch marked a new season low. Harris did have to briefly leave the game to be evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter, but he was quickly reinstated and finished the contest. Harris will look to bounce back in a crucial AFC North showdown against the Bengals next Sunday.

Nov 21, 2021 9:19 PM EST


Totals 133 yards

Harris recorded 105 yards on 26 carries in Sunday's 16-16 tie against Detroit. He added four receptions on four targets for 28 yards.

Analysis: Despite a dismal offensive performance overall, Harris was a bright spot for Pittsburgh. He topped 100 yards on the ground for the second time this season, highlighted by three rushes of 10 or more yards. Harris also turned in more than two receptions for the fourth consecutive game, effectively serving as a dump off option for Mason Rudolph. Harris has now topped 25 total touches in four consecutive games, and he will remain a focal point of the Steelers' offense in Week 11 against the Chargers.

Nov 14, 2021 2:41 PM EST


Cleared for Week 10

Harris (foot) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Lions after returning to a full practice Friday.

Analysis: Harris was limited by a foot injury Thursday but was a full-go at practice Friday, which sets the stage for the running back, who is averaging 18.8 carries per game, to continue to head the Pittsburgh backfield in Week 10. In the process, Harris is looking at a favorable matchup, at home against an 0-8 Detroit team that has surrendered rushing yards at a clip of 134.5 per game thus far.

Nov 12, 2021 12:53 PM EST


Added to injury report

Harris was limited at Thursday's practice due to a foot injury, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Per Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com, this marks Harris' first appearance on the team's injury report this season and given that he worked fully Wednesday, it's possible the running back's foot issue is a product of Thursday's session. In any case, Harris' status is now worth monitoring as Sunday's game against the Lions approaches. Through eight games, the 2021 first-rounder has racked up 150 carries. In that span, no other Pittsburgh back has logged more than 10 carries.

Nov 11, 2021 12:39 PM EST


Scores in Monday's victory

Harris rushed 22 times for 62 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 29-27 win over the Bears. He also caught all three of his targets for 16 yards.

Analysis: Harris opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run during the first quarter, helping his output on a night when he found little room to run. The rookie nonetheless got his usual heavy workload, accumulating at least 25 touches for the fourth straight game. Although his efficiency isn't always there, Harris' consistent usage and penchant for finding the end zone should continue to make him a strong option, and he's gifted with a favorable matchup in Week 10 versus the Lions.

Nov 8, 2021 8:43 PM EST


Totals 120 yards in win

Harris had 26 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown while catching all three of his targets for 29 yards during Sunday's 15-10 win at Cleveland.

Analysis: The rookie first-round pick continues to be a workhorse back for Pittsburgh, and he has at least 21 touches in each of the past five games. Harris has 622 yards from scrimmage and four scores during that span, and he should continue to power the Steelers' offense Week 9 against the Bears.

Oct 31, 2021 1:57 PM EST


Workhorse in OT win

Harris rushed 24 times for 81 yards and caught six of seven targets for 46 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 23-20 overtime win over the Seahawks.

Analysis: It wasn't pretty, as the rookie back had to grind for nearly every yard in this contest (3.4 yards per carry). The sheer volume of touches Harris received (30 total) helped buoy the bruising back to a big fantasy output. The first-round pick from this year's draft has turned into quite the dual-threat right off the bat, contributing 34 receptions and two receiving scores through six games to go along with his solid rushing production. Harris and the rest of the Steelers will get to rest on the upcoming bye before taking on the Browns in Week 8.

Oct 17, 2021 9:55 PM EST


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