Steelers second-year running back Najee Harris is dealing with a serious injury that could limit his effectiveness.
Following Sunday’s preseason finale versus Detroit, Harris admitted that he’s missed most of training camp because of a Lisfranc injury to his foot. The injury occurred during the Steelers’ first padded practice of training camp and has sidelined the running back for four weeks.
Harris told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Joe Rutter that the injury is actually a sprained Lisfranc that was the result of being stepped on. “That is why I was out the majority of camp,” Harris said.
A foot injury for a running back isn’t ideal, obviously. The lingering effects and his long layoff showed when Harris suited up for his first preseason action.
In Sunday’s 19-9 win over Detroit, Harris carried four times for 10 yards. The 24-year-old Pro Bowler added one catch that went for 11 yards. Following the game, Harris discussed his less than inspiring performance.
“I’m just now getting over it,” Harris said. “It was getting back in my motions. I was rusty today. It wasn’t a good performance and nothing I should be proud of, either. I need to get better.”
Steelers Will Be Counting On Harris
It’s somewhat surprising that Pittsburgh decided to play Harris at all. Lisfranc injuries generally require 4-to-6 weeks of recovery. Harris was right on the four-week timeline when he played against Detroit. These injuries are easily aggravated. And with the season still two weeks away, it would’ve made sense for Pittsburgh to rest their bell cow.
With a new starting quarterback, the Steelers are expected to lean heavily on the 6’1, 240 pound Harris.
During his 2021-22 rookie campaign, Harris finished fourth in the NFL with 1,200 yards. The Alabama product added seven rushing scores and another three receiving touchdowns.
Ready or not, Harris and the Steelers open the season Sept. 11 at Cincinnati.
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