New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris has recently had some significant changes in his life. Now fresh off serving his three-game NFL suspension, he remains on the COVID-19 reserve list after being placed there on Dec. 26.
However, if asymptomatic, he will be eligible to return on Dec. 31. It opens up the possibility of playing in Week 17 against the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 2.
Honor Thy Father
However, the most significant change is the present Deonte gave his stepfather. Harris legally changed his name to Deonte Harty to honor his stepfather. The viral video showing him giving his stepfather the name change paperwork is a priceless moment.
Currently he is averaging the highest receiving yards per game of everyone on the team at 47.5.
The NFL took Deonte off the commissioner’s exempt list on Tuesday. To the delight of Saints fans, it ended his three-game suspension stemming from a July arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Although it was resolved earlier this year, Harris’ DUI case, earlier in November, resulted in him being sentenced to one year of supervised probation.
According to reports, Maryland court records show that Harris pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, he agreed to the statement of facts in the police report. According to that police report obtained by the media, Harris registered a blood alcohol content of 0.246 percent after driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.
According to reports, at 1:30 a.m., he was also swerving across three lanes of traffic on the interstate.
Protocols, Protocols, Protocols
Unfortunately, Deonte tested positive for COVID-19 last week. He was one of almost two dozen Saints players to test positive. On Tuesday, he was officially placed on the team’s COVID-reserve list.
With the Saints currently sitting with a 7-8 record, Harris is a much-needed resource. The next two weeks are crucial for the franchise, as they are facing the Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons.
Harris is a playmaker they can’t afford to lose with only two weeks left in the regular season.
Stepping Into His Own
However, the 24-year-old has taken on a more significant role on offense. Harris is a third-year pro, and this year he is leading the Saints with 523 receiving yards. Harris also has three deep touchdowns on 31 catches.
“I think he’s looking forward to (being back) more than anybody,” Saints receiver Marquez Callaway said to NOLA.com. “He calls us before and after the games telling us ‘I’m watching y’all.’ He better watch, but (is he) ready to get out there?
“I just hope … he’s been running and he’s not been sitting at home watching us play.”
The Makings Of A Pro
Harris played college football at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He then signed with the Saints as a rookie undrafted free agent in 2019. He also made his first Pro Bowl as a returner for the Saints.
Growing up in the Baltimore County, Maryland, suburb of Middle River, Harris played high school football at Archbishop Curley High School; while there he also lettered in basketball and track & field.
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