Steelers RB depth chart starts and stops with Najee Harris

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Friday night the Pittsburgh Steelers saw the return of running back Benny Snell Jr. Snell has been the Steelers backup running back for the last two seasons and going into training camp was the clubhouse leader to do it again.

However, injuries have limited Snell a great deal this training camp and frankly in his best opportunity to impress, he did not. Snell rushed the ball eight times for 28 yards, 17 of which came on a single run.

This prompted some, myself included to wonder how the running back depth chart is going to shake out after rookie Najee Harris. Snell is the known commodity of the group and a guy head coach Mike Tomlin really likes. Jaylen Samuels is another guy the team knows but he’s had a rough training camp and preseason. If there’s a guy on the roster bubble right now, it might be him.

This brings us to Anthony McFarland Jr. and Kalen Ballage. McFarland Jr. is the change-of-pace guy if there is such a thing compared to Harris and while he might not be listed as the No. 2, is going to fill that role. As for Ballage, the fact he’s been the third-best back in preseason is more of an indictment of the rest of the backfield than any endorsement of his play.

The reality is when you boil it all down is unless Harris is on the field for 85 percent of the snaps, the number Le’Veon Bell hit in 2017, none of this matters. The run game isn’t going to be led by Snell or McFarland or whomever and this offense will be forced to revert back to a pass-only philosophy.

List

Big takeaways from the Steelers 2021 preseason