Despite being sidelined for multiple training camp practices due a foot injury, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris figures to be just fine come the start of the 2022 regular season. In the meantime, however, the Steelers’ former first-round draft pick out of Alabama is doing a lot of watching on the side during camp practices in addition to helping out the other running backs on the roster. Harris is taking his inability to practice fully past the midway part of training camp in stride.
“I always want to practice, always want to play, but I understand what they are doing,” Harris said, according to a recent article by Jeremy Fowler on ESPN.com. “They want to see the other guys, see what they can do.”
Harris, who had his foot stepped on in practice nine days ago, has already seen enough out of his offensive teammates this summer in Latrobe to know that the 2022 version has plenty of young playmakers on the roster and spoke on that subject recently as well.
“We’ve got a lot of playmakers — Pat [Freiermuth], Chase [Claypool], Diontae [Johnson], even the new guys with George [Pickens] and [Calvin] Austin and even Conner [Heyward],” Harris said. “We’ve got to find a way where we can establish what we do best, get them the ball in space, change the offense in ways we can be more explosive.”
Currently, the sweeping speculation remains that new Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky will open the 2022 regular season as the team’s starter, and that’s not a huge surprise with the organization making the former first-round draft pick an early free agency target back in March. Harris has obviously gotten the chance to work with Trubisky throughout the summer, and he commented recently on the quarterback to Fowler.
“I think Mitch is actually turning a lot of heads in camp,” Harris said of Trubisky. “He’s doing a good job of going through reads and understanding what stuff is, doing a good job of taking on that role. I’m excited to see what he does myself.”
One intriguing aspect that Trubisky should bring to the Steelers offense in 2022 is a mobility threat and offensive coordinator Matt Canada figures to take advantage of that by rolling out the quarterback at the start of the regular season. In his interview with Fowler, Harris spoke to Trubisky’s mobility.
“We haven’t even put in some of the QB scheme runs — because he can run,” Harris said. “I’m excited about all of that.”
The Steelers’ first preseason game of 2022 will take place on Saturday at Acrisure Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks. That will obviously mark Trubisky’s debut in a Steelers’ uniform, and he figures to start that exhibition contest and play at least a few series. It will be interesting to see how many of the Steelers’ starters get to play with Trubisky on Saturday, as a few of them like Harris and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (hip) might miss the contest due to injuries.
The hope is that Harris will be able to make a brief appearance in at least one of the Steelers’ three preseason games. In the meantime, however, it sure seems like he might not practice fully again until after the Steelers break training camp.