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Najee Harris’ Touchdown Run Sparked an Emotional Moment for Ben Roethlisberger

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PITTSBURGH — Najee Harris’ touchdown run maybe should have never happened. After all, all the rookie running back had to do was get the touchdown. Knowing the circumstances, it would be easy to see why people would want Harris to kneel down and allow Roethlisberger to get one final kneel down to get his curtain call. Yet, the former Alabama running back kept going.

“He told me to get down,” Harris said. “I didn’t get down.”

While the precise words Roethlisberger told Harris were to get down, the rookie rumbled all the way. Even after he had got all he needed to ice the game, Harris needed to put the house call into ice the game.

“He told me to get what I could and to protect the ball,” Harris said. “After that, I sealed the game. It was just taking it all in.”

Roethlisberger was proud of Harris’ performance overall. The rookie running back was a man possessed and put up a career-high 187 yards on the ground. For a veteran quarterback who has seen the rookie running back grow so much, he was excited to see him go off.

“Man, I’m so proud,” Roethlisberger said. “He was still sitting there when I came over here and I just told him thank you. I said, I’m so proud of you. He’s a tech heck of a football player. Tonight, it’s like he ran possessed tonight. Some of the things he did was just special, and he gave us this victory.”

Roethlisberger did indeed end up getting his final kneel-down anyways after a Tre Norwood interception. In what was his swan song, Roethlisberger’s team helped him to one last victory at Heinz Field, and no one was more instrumental than Harris.

“I didn’t think I was going back out,” Roethlisberger said. “Anybody in football will tell you when you’re on offense that’s the best play in football, best formation, best play. And so to go out there and take a knee probably made in even more emotional and more real.”

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