2021 South Side Questions: How Much Will Najee Harris Be Affected By Arm Injury?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.

They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.

There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: How much will Najee Harris be affected by his arm injury during the postseason?

While we don’t know a whole lot with certainty, given the lack of leaks over the past 36 hours, I think it’s somewhat safe to assume that Najee Harris’ arm injury, which he sustained on the Steelers’ opening drive on Sunday, isn’t very severe. Unless I hear otherwise, I’m working under the assumption that he will be playing.

But he’s still going to be dealing with some type of injury to his dominant hand. He had to carry the football with his left arm when he did finally check back into Sunday’s game. The Kansas City Chiefs are certainly going to be aware of his injury and of the fact that he may still be holding the ball with his left arm instead of his dominant right arm.

But it’s not like a running back can’t run with an upper-body injury. Remember what Dalvin Cook did to the Steelers several weeks back? That was a little different, of course, as he had a shoulder injury, which less directly affects ball grip and security. But the point is, your legs are still churning as they always have.

I think if the Steelers have any hope of winning in Kansas City, it’s going to have to involve Najee Harris having a pretty damn good day at the office. That’s how they won their most recent postseason games—back in 2016—relying upon Le’Veon Bell to propel them. Then he got hurt, and then their run was over. And that haven’t won a postseason game since.

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