Friday, April 19, 2024
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Damien Harris retires at age 27: Former Patriots, Bills RB walks away from NFL after five seasons

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Billie Weiss / Getty Images

Running back Damien Harris announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday at the age of 27. Harris spent last season with the Buffalo Bills, carrying 23 times for 94 yards and a touchdown before a neck injury suffered in the Week 6 matchup against the New York Giants prematurely ended his campaign. He was driven off the field in an ambulance after taking the big hit which led to his injury. 

Harris was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama. He had the privilege of being coached by arguably the two greatest head coaches in football: Nick Saban and Bill Belichick. It’s something Harris pointed to in his retirement announcement, which he posted on Instagram on Monday evening:

“For the past 20 years, playing the game of football has been one of the greatest privileges in my life.

Getting to represent the name on the back of my jersey on and off the field, getting to compete at the highest level with and against the best competitors while winning championships, and being coached by the 2 greatest head coaches of all time in Nick Saban and Bill Belichick are all just a small part of what God has done in my life with the game of football.

The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been and will go on to go, the experiences and memories I’ve made, the impact I’ve been able to make to this point, these are the things that mean the most to me.

Gratitude is defined as ‘The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.’ Today I am grateful I have found the strength to walk away from the game I love so much.”

In four seasons and 38 total games played for the Patriots, Harris rushed for 2,094 yards and 20 touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. His best season came in 2021, when Harris rushed for 929 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games played. 

A two-time College Football Playoff National Champion, Harris rushed for 3,070 yards and 23 touchdowns in four seasons with the Crimson Tide. He ranks ninth all-time in Alabama rushing yards. 

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