Patriots’ star running back gives positive injury update following win vs. Steelers
New England Patriots starting running back Damien Harris helped seal their Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it looked like it might have come with a cost at first.
After Harris picked up the first down on a third-down play that allowed the Patriots to kneel the clock out, he took his time to get off the ground and limped to the sideline. Harris’ knee appeared to be part of the impact on the play.
However, Harris immediately downplayed any injury concerns when he took the podium after the contest.
“I’m fine dog,” Harris said with a huge smile. “Look at me! I’m fine!”
Prior to the game-sealing first-down carry, Harris had himself a strong day. He rushed for 71 yards on 15 carries and added two receptions for 11 yards.
Harris also ran for the game-deciding touchdown. That play came a bit easier though. After the Steelers got a third-down stop, Jake Bailey’s punt went in and out of Gunner Olszewski’s arms. The muffed punt, which New England recovered, plus a Pittsburgh penalty put the Patriots at the Steelers’ 10-yard line.
In the moment, Harris shared that he was elated but wanted to express some kind words for his former teammate once the game ended.
“When it happened, I told myself I’ll feel sorry for him after the game,” Harris said. “So I guess now’s the time for me to feel bad for him. It’s a tough break, but that’s the way the game goes. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way, and fortunately for us, it bounced our way.
“I told him after the game, I don’t want a touchdown that easy, but if he’s going to give it to me, I’ll take it. But Gunner obviously is a dear friend of mine.”
On the second play of the drive, Harris caught a pass out of the backfield from Mac Jones but was tackled in front of the goal line. That was no issue for him though as he pounded the ball in for the score on the next play to give the Patriots a 17-6 third-quarter lead.
Damien Harris puts the @Patriots up 17-6!
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
During Harris’ celebration, Jones joined him as the two posed for the camera. The Patriots’ running back shared how much he appreciates the quarterback’s character after the game.
“Mac’s our leader,” Damien Harris shared. “He’s a great leader. He’s a great teammate. He’s an even better friend. The thing I love the most about Mac is that he shows up every day, ready to work – not only to improve himself but to make all the guys around him better. Whether it’s guys on offense, defense, special teams or the coaches, he demands everyone’s best and he challenge everyone to get better every single day.
“We’re very fortunate to have him under center and I love being able to stand on the field to go to battle with him.”
When crunch time came calling, Harris stepped up. He rushed for 28 yards on the final drive to help the Patriots run the clock out, which he was happy the most about. Harris credited the offensive line for creating gaps for him and shared what his mindset was on those final rushes.
“End the game. That’s it: end the game.”