The Pittsburgh Steelers have been running the ball well since their Week 9 bye, and a large part of that has been the play of Najee Harris. After a slow start to the season, Harris has re-gained the form fans grew to expect from him as a rookie in 2021.
What was the reason for the resurgence and bounce back play? Many assumed it was Harris finally getting back to form after suffering a foot injury during training camp, which at one point required him to have a steel plate inserted into his cleats.
During the team’s Week 12 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football, Harris suffered an abdominal injury and never returned to the game. Due to the short week, Mike Tomlin had very little update on the injury during his Tuesday press conference, but reports are now circulating the injury is not deemed to be serious.
This per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network:
#Steelers RB Najee Harris, who was ruled out of Monday night's game with an abdominal injury, did not suffer a major injury, sources say. His status this week is up in the air, and he'll be reevaluated as the practice week goes on. But no significant injury is good news.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 30, 2022
The fact this isn’t an injury which could be deemed serious, and lead to a stint on the Injured Reserve (IR) list, is a huge positive for the Steelers. However, if Harris is available vs. the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday is another concern.
The Steelers’ depth at the running back position is being tested, and will continue to be tested if Harris can’t play this Sunday in Atlanta. The team was without rookie Jaylen Warren in Week 12 due to a hamstring injury, and when Harris exited the game in Indianapolis it was Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. who had to carry the load. They did so combining for over 90 yards rushing, and proving they can step in, and step up, when called upon.
Pittsburgh’s offense might be leaning on those two again if they are without both Harris and Warren this week. The team’s injury reports will be telling as they start to turn the page from the Colts game, and put their focus on the Falcons. We’ll have all that information for you right here at BTSC, so be sure to stay tuned as the Steelers press on throughout the 2022 regular season.