Friday, July 1, 2022

Steelers’ Najee Harris expects to ‘take time off’ as Pittsburgh looks to lessen his workload in 2022


It has nothing to do with his weight, but considering the timing of the news, Najee Harris likely expects the world to interpret it that way. After all, the former first-round pick has already had to defend himself against reports of an alleged major weight gain that has him currently weighing in at 244 pounds, recently clarifying he was 242 pounds last season and not the 230 pounds he was listed at, putting his gain at only two pounds and not a more robust tally of 14. 

That said, you might not see him on the field nearly as often in Year 2, or at least that’s the expectation he’s being told.

“I am taking time off,” Harris said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I will not be on the field for certain plays. We’re still going to talk about that, though. I do want to play — a lot, any time I can.”

Yet, while Harris doesn’t want to take any snaps off, he can at least comprehend the logic behind the proposed move, seeing as he plays the most punishing position in all of football, and one that doesn’t usually offer a long shelf life for those who are the beneficiary of a massive amount of carries and touches on an annual basis.

So fantasy football aficionados beware, because Harris’ involvement might take a dip in 2022.

“It’s all about being smart,” added Harris. “So I understand where [the Steelers] are coming from.”

The 24-year-old started in all 17 regular season games for the Steelers as a rookie and had a breakout season in the process, rushing for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns while adding another 467 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns to this stat line. He registered a hefty 381 touches as he became the staple of an offense that struggled in the passing attack during what turned out to be the retirement tour for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

It doesn’t sound as if the final decision has been made yet, but the fact the Steelers are even considering it is extremely notable.

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