Steelers Insiders Provide Update on RB Najee Harris After Foot Injury

Najee Harris Steelers

Michael Hickey/Getty Images Linebacker Germaine Pratt of the Cincinnati Bengals tackles running back Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers as Harris scores a touchdown on September 11, 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris suffered an injury to his right foot or ankle on Sunday when he “got bent back” after getting sandwiched by a pair of Cincinnati defenders on a fourth-quarter carry – one that came when the offense was attempting to run out the clock on the Bengals.

The look of the play — and the fact that Harris was seen writhing on the ground afterwards — made it appear as if the second-year running back suffered a potentially serious lower body injury. Ultimately he was able to limp/jog off the field under his own power, though he did not return to the game.

Steelers’ Najee Harris Seen Wearing a Walking Boot

Then, approximately an hour after Steelers kicker Chris Boswell scored the winning points in Pittsburgh’s 23-20 overtime victory, Bengals beat reporter Kelsey Conway advised that she “saw Najee Harris walking out of the Steelers locker room with a boot on.”

Asked about the walking boot, Harris denied having a serious injury. According to ESPN sideline reporter Jonathan Michaels, Harris insisted he “feel(s) 100%, just a little discomfort. I’ll be ready to go for next week,” said the former first-round pick.

After that came more positive news, when Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL on CBS reported that the “injury looked worse than it was” and — per someone within the Steelers organization — “(h)e should be OK,” without elaborating further on what qualifies as okay.

Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review offered encouraging news as well, writing: “Harris was spotted postgame in the visiting locker room at Paycor Stadium with his foot heavily wrapped – but he was walking on his own power with no crutches or other assistance.”

As to the nature of the injury, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that Harris “rolled an ankle” and the Steelers “hope he’ll be fine.”

That would make this ailment a new one, as opposed to an aggravation of the Lisfranc injury that Harris revealed at the end of August – an injury he suffered during practice on August 1st.

Najee Harris Caught Mitch Trubisky’s 1st Steelers TD Pass

As to how Harris performed against the Bengals before he got hurt, the highlight of his game was catching a two-yard touchdown pass from Mitch Trubisky, the new quarterback’s first TD pass in a Steelers uniform.

But he was almost completely bottled up in the run game, carrying the ball 10 times for 23 yards, a mere 2.3 yards per rush.

Nor did backup Jaylen Warren fare any better. Warren, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State, carried the ball three times for seven yards, duplicating Harris’ 2.3 yards per attempt.

In addition to Harris’ injury the Steelers also lost T.J. Watt to what is feared to be a torn pectoral. Starting center Mason Cole suffered an ankle injury during the second half and was replaced by backup J.C. Hassenauer. But Cole was able to return to the lineup prior to the end of the game.

The Steelers also lost No. 3 cornerback Levi Wallace to an ankle injury and he did not return. Inside linebacker Robert Spillane was forced out of the contest with an eye issue.

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