As you would probably expect, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison isn’t very happy about his lack of playing time so far this season.
Harrison, who has only played a total of 29 defensive snaps in the Steelers first 12 regular season games, recently relayed his unhappiness to Michele Tafoya of NBC Sports.
@jharrison9292 told me today if he had known he wasn’t going to play much (inactive for 6 games, DNP for two more), he would not have signed with the @steelers this season. Would he have played somewhere else? “Oh, yeah,” he said. “Who wants to NOT play?” @PFT_Live @SNFonNBC
— Michele Tafoya (@Michele_Tafoya) December 8, 2017
According to Tafoya, Harrison told her on Friday that if he had known he wasn’t going to play much this season, he would not have re-signed with the Steelers during the offseason.
“Oh, yeah,” Harrison said, when asked by Tafoya if he would have played somewhere else in 2017. “Who wants to not play?”
Harrison has been pushed out the picture by Steelers rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt, the team’s first-round draft pick this year, and third-year outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo. In fact, Harrison has been on the Steelers inactive list more times than he’s dressed this season.
It’s also been clear a few times this season that Harrison has never been injured enough to warrant him being official ruled out games despite showing up a few weeks on the team’s injury report with reported back and knee issues. In short, Harrison has not played much due to decisions made by the Steelers coaching staff.
Harrison toed the company line somewhat prior to the regular season getting underway when it was becoming clear that Watt would be the team’s starting right outside linebacker this season and that Chickillo would likely serve as his backup. With just four regular season games now remaining, it’s apparent that the veteran outside linebacker could not hold his real feelings back any longer.
If it’s any consolation to Harrison, it sounds like he will dress for the team’s Sunday night home game against the Baltimore Ravens being as fellow outside linebacker Arthur Moats has moved to inside linebacker due to both Ryan Shazier and Tyler Matakevich being sidelined with injuries. Will Harrison play any defensive snaps against the Ravens? We’ll see.
Harrison last dressed for a game back in Week 8, however, he didn’t see the field any during that game against the Detroit Lions. His last playing time came way back in Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Harrison signed a two-year contract with the Steelers during the offseason and it’s becoming clearer by the week that he’ll only see one year of it.