Jersey #22 Najee Harris/ Bobby Layne
For most of the fans out there, this number now belongs to Najee Harris. He is now entering his third season. With his career still fairly young, it’s hard to say where he goes. Will he stay with the Steelers beyond his 4th year? Will injuries take their toll? Much of what happens to Najee and his continued association with #22 will be decided by the 2023 season. Until then this number will also be toed to another dynamic player.
In 1958 the Detroit Lions traded eventual Hall of Famer Bobby Layne to the Steelers. While his best years were behind him, he played for the Steelers for the final five years of his career. Under his leadership, the Steelers had a record of 27-19-2; he passed for 66 touchdowns and 9030 yards. He was a fan favorite but he didn’t bring the Steelers a championship.
Jersey # 23 Readers Choice
With this jersey, numerous players have worn the jersey but no credible standouts. Although you could make a case for either Joe Haden from 2018-2021 or Jim “Cannonball” Butler from 1965-1967. This jersey will be left up to readers to make their favorite choice.
Jersey #24 J.T. Thomas
Until 2023 the most well-known player to wear #24 was J.T. Thomas. Thomas was an integral part of the Steelers defense in the ‘70s. He didn’t get the same notoriety as Donnie Shell and Mel Blount. Nevertheless, between 1973-1981 he had 19 interceptions and two fumble recoveries. It's hard to say how memorable Thomas would have been had he not played alongside Blount, Shell, and Wagner, but he definitely benefitted from it.
Now in 2023, with the Steelers addition of Joey Porter Jr., he could claim this Jersey from Thomas if he is as good as we all hope. Still, he has a long way to go, as Thomas played on a team that won four Superbowls, and If Porter can help the Steelers do that, this could be the player associated with this jersey for decades.