The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night on the road, and that second preseason game of 2021 for the team figures to include rookie running back Najee Harris seeing action again in the first half.
On the heels of Harris playing 18 offensive snaps against the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday night in the Hall of Fame Game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday during his press conference that he has no plans to scale back the playing time of the rookie running back Thursday night. In short, expect Harris to log about the same number of snaps Thursday night that he did against the Cowboys.
In the 18 offensive snaps that Harris played last Thursday night against the Cowboys, Harris, the team’s first-round draft pick this year out of Alabama, touched the football eight times in total. He had seven rushes for 22 yards with a long of six yards against the Cowboys and one reception for another three yards.
While Harris is expected to play Thursday night against the Eagles, it doesn’t sound like the team will have two of their backup running backs for that contest, Benny Snell Jr. and Kalen Ballage, as both have not practiced these last several days. Snell missed the Hall of Fame game with an injury while Ballage suffered a lower body injury in that contest.
Assuming the rest of the players on the Steelers running back depth chart stay healthy these next two days, we figure to see Anthony McFarland Jr., Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds, Tony Brooks-James, and even newcomer Pete Guerriero all possibly get some sort of playing time against the Eagles on Thursday night in Philadelphia.