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Najee Harris Back-to-Back 1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons

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NFL Steelers Running Back Najee Harris

On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Najee Harris became the first running back in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons in the NFL. Harris needed only 46 yards rushing against Cleveland to reach the 1,000-yard mark, he ended up rushing for 84 yards on 23 carries (3.7 average) and a touchdown. On the season, Harris rushed for 1,038 yards on 272 carries and seven touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

Najee Harris is one of two players in the NFL with 2,200+ rushing yards and 650+ receiving yards since the start of the 2021 season. Harris also joined Le’Veon Bell has the second player in the Steelers history with 2,200+ rushing yards and 650+ receiving yards over his first two years in the league.

“I think it’s a reflection of the offensive line, really,” Harris said. “For me to have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, it’s an accomplishment, but it’s an accomplishment for the O-Line. We see how good they are.”

Harris has really taken off since the bye week, rushing for at least 80 yards in seven of the last 10 games. His highest rushing performance before the bye came in Week 4 against the New York Jets (74 yards). Coupled with the offensive line struggling and trying to gel earlier in the year, Harris was also dealing with a lingering foot injury from training camp.

Back in October, Harris informed reporters that he played with a steel plate in his shoe during the season’s first five games. Harris said the plate was the last step in his recovery process. Despite the O-line trying to develop under a new line coach and Harris not at 100 percent, naysayers buried Harris for not hitting the hole and displaying proper vision. Some talking heads even compared him to Trent Richardson, which was pretty crazy. Harris has certainly silenced that narrative.