With Najee Harris, I like the workload. They give him the ball plenty, virtually guaranteeing he’ll put up good numbers if he can stay healthy.

Harris ran the ball 307 times as a rookie, with another 74 touches on receptions. With the extra 17th game, that gets him up to the most handles by a running back since LaDainian Tomlinson.

Most coaches nowadays tend to favor the committee approach, but Mike Tomlin is more of a believer of just riding one guy.

In the last 10 years, 32 running backs have started for more than half the season and averaged at least 22 touches per game. Tomlin has five of those backs (LeVeon Bell did it five times). And there’s a sixth, DeAngelo Williams, who just misses the cutoff.

I don’t know that this is a great approach. I worry about them burning Harris out. Ezekiel Elliott has logged a lot of touches, and he’s now a 27-year-old running like he’s in his mid-30s. But it should be fun while it lasts.

2014DeMarco Murray, Dall.1624.53.628.1
2016• LeVeon Bell, Pitt.1221.86.328.0
2017• LeVeon Bell, Pitt.1521.45.727.1
2017Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.1024.22.626.8
2020Dalvin Cook, Min.1422.33.125.4
2018Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.1520.35.125.4
2019Christian McCaffrey, Car.1617.97.325.2
2020Derrick Henry, Ten.1623.61.224.8
2012Arian Foster, Hou.1621.92.524.4
2012Adrian Peterson, Min.1621.82.524.3
2015Devonta Freeman, Atl.1318.75.123.8
2016Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.1521.52.123.6
2017Leonard Fournette, Jac.1320.62.823.4
2014• LeVeon Bell, Pitt.1618.15.223.3
2016David Johnson, Ariz.1618.35.023.3
2012Doug Martin, T.B.1619.93.123.0
2014Matt Forte, Chi.1616.66.423.0
2014Arian Foster, Hou.1320.02.922.9
2013Zac Stacy, St.L.1220.82.222.9
2013LeSean McCoy, Phil.1619.63.322.9
2017Todd Gurley, LAR1518.64.322.9
2019Leonard Fournette, Jac.1517.75.122.7
2016Melvin Gordon, S.D.1319.53.222.7
2013Matt Forte, Chi.1618.14.622.7
2018Todd Gurley, LAR1418.34.222.5
2021Najee Harris, Pitt.1718.14.422.4
2015Adrian Peterson, Min.1620.41.922.3
2013• LeVeon Bell, Pitt.1318.83.522.2
2019Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.1618.83.422.2
2021Alvin Kamara, N.O.1318.53.622.1
2018Saquon Barkley, NYG1616.35.722.0
2013Adrian Peterson, Min.1419.92.122.0

—Ian Allan