The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to hit the practice field this week, but when they do, it’s unclear at this time when rookie running back Jaylen Warren will be available to participate. Coming out of Sunday’s game early with a hamstring injury, head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged that “Warren’s availability is in question.”
Despite the offense going most of the way without Warren being available, it didn’t benefit Benny Snell Jr. too much, the Steelers’ fourth-year guard who was demoted this year in favor of the recruit. .
He saw his first three offensive snaps of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he didn’t touch the ball. Still, Tomlin seemed to express continued confidence in him should that situation arise, such as if Warren was unavailable against the Indianapolis Colts.
Asked about Warren’s in-game injury and whether it impacted Najee Harris’ workload, Tomlin said via the transcript: “It affected our intentions, but Benny Snell steps in and Naj absorbs more shots, it’s soccer. The attrition component of the game is an important component of the game”.
A fourth-round pick in 2019, Snell has been all but reduced to a special team role this season despite a starring role in the past. He recorded more than 100 litters in each of his first two seasons, although his number dipped to just 36 last year during Harris’ rookie season.
And at this point, Harris is no stranger to a heavy workload. He played 100% of the snaps in a game multiple times during his rookie year, and at least 95% of the snaps seven times in total. They’ve managed his workload more drastically this season, but that’s as a precaution.
“We tend to focus our energies on those we have and don’t waste a lot of time lamenting the people we don’t have,” Tomlin insisted as he reflected on Warren’s availability versus Snell’s. . “We have that mindset when we’re planning through a work week like this, or we have that same mindset when things are happening in the game.”
An undrafted free agent, Warren has impressed since day one of the pads at training camp, and he’s only risen in rank since then to the point where Tomlin is asked about potentially playing more on base. weekly.
Warren has 54 touches on the season, rushing for 190 yards on 38 carries and adding 137 extra yards on 16 receptions. He’s got a fumble and he’s yet to find the end zone, but his status on the team is undisputed, seeing about a third of the snaps and earning situational roles on third down and close range.