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Damien Harris Retires From the NFL



New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Damien Harris announced on social Monday that his days as an NFL player have come to an end. Harris posted a message on Instagram stating in part, “Today I am grateful I have found the strength to walk away from the game I love so much.” Harris also gave special praise to the men he referred to as the two greatest coaches of all time, Nick Saban and Bill Belichick.

The New England Patriots drafted Harris in the third round (No. 87 overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama. He was part of two national championship teams while playing for Saban on the Crimson Tide. Harris appeared in only two games in his rookie year, but there was much more in store for his second season.

Damien Harris took over the role of the Patriots primary running back in 2020 from Sony Michel. Despite playing only 10 games he led the team with 691 yards rushing. His breakout season came in 2021. Harris finished the year with 929 rushing yards and scored 15 touchdowns.

In 2022, Rhamondre Stevenson replaced Harris as New England’s primary back. Stevenson rushed for 1,040 yards, to Harris’ 462. It would be his final season in Foxboro. Harris signed with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in the offseason. His season ended after only six games. Harris suffered a season-ending neck injury and concussion. He had to be taken off the field by ambulance.

Damien Harris scored 15 touchdowns at age 23 and played his final NFL snap at age 26. He retires with 2,188 career rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. While Harris’ playing career has come to an end, here’s hoping his story has many chapters yet to be written.

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