27 and Retired: The Rise and Fall of Damien Harris, an NFL Running Back’s Journey

Former Patriots running back retires from football at age 27

Damien Harris, the Alabama-born running back, announced his retirement from football at 27 on Monday night. After a five-year career in the NFL, Harris expressed his gratitude for the opportunities he had to compete at the highest level in an Instagram post.

Harris was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and saw limited playing time in his rookie year. However, he quickly emerged as their starting running back and had a standout year in 2021, rushing for nearly 1,000 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns. Despite his success, injuries eventually led to his replacement by Rhamondre Stevenson towards the end of the 2022 season.

Reflecting on his career, Harris acknowledged the mentors and coaches who helped shape his football journey, including Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, whom he described as the two greatest head coaches of all time. After leaving the Patriots, Harris spent one season with the Buffalo Bills before ultimately deciding to retire from football.

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