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Multiple players will start at running back for the Steelers in 2021

In the new “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” series, we break down situations which could take place for the Steelers in 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario...

Scenario: Multiple players will start at running back for the Steelers in 2021

Starts at running back:

2020: James Conner (11), Benny Snell (3), Jaylen Samuels (1)
2019: James Conner (10), Jaylen Samuels (4), Benny Snell (2)
2018: James Conner (12), Jaylen Samels (3)
2017: Leven Bell (15), Stevan Ridley (1)

Why it will happen: Just a reminder, this section is for why the scenario will happen, meaning that multiple players will start running back for the Steelers in 2021. Frankly, it’s not just because of the team history, it’s NFL history. In 2020, only two running backs started all 16 games for their teams: Derrick Henry and Devin Singletary. That’s it. Even though Steelers fans wants to say James Conner missed too many games, the reality is almost every running back misses games in the NFL. To think the Steelers will be immune to this would be unwise.

Why it won’t happen: The Steelers spent their first-round draft pick on Najee Harris. If he’s healthy, he’s going to be on the field to start the game. Even if there are games where the Steelers don’t start with a running back the first play (hence why there were two seasons above that didn’t equal 16 games), it’s not that someone else will get the start. Harris is young and not beat up coming into the NFL and will be the guy for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Prediction: This is one where I really hope I’m wrong, but I am not putting the expectations on Najee Harris to beat the odds and start every game for the Steelers at running back. It’s not that I’m wanting someone else to start, it’s just being realistic. If Harris plays in 14 games this season, it’s going to be a great thing for the Steelers. Anything over that is really a bonus. But going with the odds, there’s a greater chance of him missing a game along the way than there is him being available all season.


Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.