Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris missed two practices this week as he deals with an elbow injury that kept him out for a spell in the Week 18 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Still, coach Mike Tomlin expected Harris to participate in Friday's session and he was a full participant.
Harris drew a questionable designation for Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs in the teams' AFC Wild Card Game.
If Harris is inactive, it would be a massive blow to the Steelers' ability to move the ball, though his full participation on Friday is a positive sign that won't happen. The rookie was knocked out in Week 18 but returned to play a key role in the overtime win that got the Steelers into the postseason.
"It says he's the guy we said he was the whole time," offensive coordinator Matt Canada said of Harris' return last week, via the team's official website. "He made a one-handed catch and a couple really, really big runs. I think he was really effective when he came back. Certainly says a lot about him as a person and how much of a team player he is, how much he wants to win.
"He loves to compete and he loves to win."
In the Week 16 blowout loss to the Chiefs, Harris was the lone bright spot, taking 19 carries for 93 yards. But much of his production came with Pittsburgh down big and K.C. content to defend the pass.
"I'm not beating the drum about anything about that game," Canada said.
In Week 17's win over Cleveland, Harris scampered for 188 yards on 28 carries and a game-sealing TD, the biggest output in his rookie season.
"We've started to be able to run the ball at some key times," Canada said. "Obviously, you finished the Browns game with a big run. You finished the Ravens game with a big run to get us in position. It's not where we want it to be. We're not sitting there churning out six-, seven-yard runs and the things we're all hoping to do.
"Up front and protection-wise, for the most part we're doing the best we can. We're moving guys around. Really proud how hard those guys are playing. When you look at the situation and the guys that are out and the guys that are stepping up I think they deserve a lot of credit for how hard they're playing and how much effort they're giving.
"Obviously, the last two weeks we've got all that matters, which are Ws. That's all we're trying to get."
The rookie has been the main bright spot in an otherwise dreary season for Pittsburgh's offense.
Harris finished the regular season with 307 carries, 1,200 rush yards, seven rushing TDs and added 74 receptions for 467 yards and three receiving TDs. He led Pittsburgh in rushing yards, TDs, scrimmage yards (1,667) and scrimmage TDs (10).
Harris also set the Steelers rookie records in rushing yards, scrimmage yards, receptions and offensive touches (381).
The rookie finished second in the NFL in scrimmage yards behind only Jonathan Taylor (2,171). He became the first rookie in NFL history with 300-plus carries and 70-plus catches.
If he's healthy enough to play Sunday, Harris represents the Steelers' most significant advantage in K.C.
Harris had 174 rushes inside the tackles this season (third-most among all rookies). While teams haven't rushed inside the tackles often against the Chiefs, no defense has allowed more rushing yards over expected this season (+137) on inside runs, per Next Gen Stats. K.C ranked last in RYOE per attempt (+0.75).
It's not just between-the-tackles runs where Harris could play a crucial role. His 74 targets and 57 catches out of the backfield are both third-most in the NFL. K.C. has allowed the fourth most pass attempts (114) and completions (98) to receivers aligned in the backfield and 6.5 YPA on such passes (10th-most).