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Najee Harris, Steelers talking about lower workload this season

A report emerged saying Steelers RB Najee Harris gained 12 pounds as a rookie, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms see nothing wrong if the "sledgehammer" RB adds some weight in a useful way.

The Steelers didn’t ease running back Najee Harris into NFL life during his rookie season.

Harris led all NFL running backs in offensive snaps and offensive touches last year as he slid right into a workhorse role as the starter in Pittsburgh. Harris said on Tuesday that he and the team are discussing an adjustment to that approach for his second season.

That conversation has centered on Harris coming off the field on “certain downs” in order to make sure he’s resting enough to continue playing at a high level.

“I am taking time off,” Harris said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I will not be on the field for certain plays. We’re still going to talk about that, though. I do want to play. A lot. . . . Any time I can. But at the same time, it’s all about being smart. So I understand where [the Steelers] are coming from.”

Benny Snell was second on the team in carries with 36 last season, but they only produced 98 yards on those attempts. Anthony McFarland and Trey Edmunds also return from last year’s roster and someone from that group will likely have to show promise in order for the Steelers to fully follow through with any plans to cut down on Harris’ workload.