Steelers' Najee Harris' Foot Injury Reportedly 'Not Considered a Big Deal'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 11, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris was ruled out of Sunday's season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals after leaving the game with a foot injury in the fourth quarter.

The good news, however, is that the injury is "not considered a big deal," according to Mike Giardi of NFL Network.

The 24-year-old Harris, who was selected by the Steelers with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, posted 26 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown before leaving the contest.

After a standout collegiate career at Alabama that saw him win two national titles and the 2020 Doak Walker Award as the top running back in the nation, Harris was the unquestioned No. 1 player at his position in the draft.

The Steelers were widely assumed to be in the market for a running back after finishing last in the NFL in rushing in 2020 and allowing starting running back James Conner to leave in free agency.

Harris was viewed as an immediate upgrade to the backfield, especially after he rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns while also catching 43 passes for 425 yards and four scores for the Crimson Tide in his last season.

Many experts compared Harris to former Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during the predraft process, making him a perfect fit in Pittsburgh.

Harris didn't disappoint as a rookie, rushing for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with 74 receptions for 467 yards and three scores.

Should Harris land on the shelf, the Steelers will be forced to turn to 2019 fourth-round pick Benny Snell Jr. and rookie Jaylen Warren.

If Harris winds up missing any additional time, Pittsburgh may find itself employing a high-volume passing game with Mitch Trubisky distributing to wide receivers Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and George Pickens.