Is Najee Harris playing Thursday night? Fantasy injury update for Patriots-Steelers Week 14 TNF

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There’s never a good time for injuries, but that’s especially true at this stage of the season. As the Steelers continue to march toward a postseason spot, they’ll battle the Patriots on Thursday night to open Week 14. However, they might be doing it without their top running back, Najee Harris, who popped up on the injury report with a knee injury earlier this week. What does that mean for his Thursday availability and your fantasy football lineups? 

We’ll continue to update this article with news on Harris until the official active/inactive report comes out on Thursday around 6:50 p.m. ET, so check back for the latest.

MORE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
DK lineup | FD lineupATS pick | Top props | Start-sit

Is Najee Harris playing Thursday night Week 14? 

Harris (knee) popped up on the injury report Tuesday after logging a DNP in the Steelers’ walkthrough before Thursday’s game. To make matters worse, he followed that up with a DNP on Wednesday, as well, officially sounding the alarms. He is officially listed as “questionable” for Thursday night, though it seems that he’s on the wrong side of that designation. Although maintenance is always a factor during this part of the season, it is still fairly concerning for Harris to be listed in that regard without having a real practice. The RB hasn’t been on the injury report in recent weeks and has yet to miss a game since making his debut in 2021, only adding to the potential concern for fantasy owners. 

In what is likely the last week of your league’s regular season or first week of the playoffs, this is not great timing for teams that have finally begun to see a solid return on their Harris investment. He’s been getting 15 carries a game consistently over the past five weeks, scoring three touchdowns over that span, as well. Even though the matchup is a brutal one against a Patriots’ defense that is playing like one of the best in football, Harris, if he plays, is still worth a starting spot thanks to his touchdown upside. The yardage might be down, but opportunities should be aplenty with Mitch Trubisky starting for Pittsburgh on Thursday night. 

One of the biggest problems for those that roster anyone in the Steelers’ backfield is the workload split that we’ve seen plenty of recently. Both Harris and Jaylen Warren offer fantasy value, but one often caps the other’s ceiling, leaving fantasy owners to guess which one will play a bigger role that week. Without Harris on Thursday night, however, that leaves Warren as the only show in town. Godwin Igwebuike and Anthony McFarland Jr. aren’t worth investing in at this point in the season, meaning those who roster Warren will be celebrating a potential workhorse evening in the Steel City. 

WEEK 14 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

If Harris is ultimately ruled out, that leaves anyone looking for a replacement scraping the bottom of the waiver wire barrel. Hopefully, there’s a viable option on your bench, otherwise you’re likely looking at Tyjae Spears (@ Dolphins), D’Onta Foreman, or Roschon Johnson (vs. Lions) as the best options available on the majority of waiver wires. 

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