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Najee Harris is on pace to become the third rookie RB in NFL history with 400+ touches in a season


(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)


Throughout his career, Mike Tomlin has been known to give his featured running backs a heavy workload. And that's been the case for rookie Najee Harris this season so far. According to Pro Football Focus, Harris is on pace for 404 touches this season. The only rookie running backs with 400-plus touches in a season are Eric Dickerson (1983) and Edgerrin James (1999).

Through eight games, Harris has 190 touches -- 150 carries for 541 yards (3.6 average) and four touchdowns, along with 40 receptions for 289 yards (7.2 average) and two touchdowns.


Barry Foster and Le'Veon Bell are the only running backs in Steelers' history who have had 400-plus touches in a season. Foster has the franchise record with 426 touches in 1992 and Bell had 406 touches in 2017.


Also, with 541 yards rushing so far, Harris should surpass Franco Harris' rookie rushing record of 1,055 yards (1972).


The Steelers don't have a true No. 2 running back currently. Many thought Anthony McFarland Jr. would have that role, but he was surprisingly inactive on Monday night. Instead, offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been calling a lot of jet sweeps to the receivers to offset the heavy workload that Harris has been getting.


Tomlin loves using the term "bell-cow running back" and Harris has certainly been that for the Steelers. And if he continues at the pace he's going, he'll join Dickerson and James as the only rookie running backs in NFL history to have 400-plus touches in a season.





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