The NFL’s official Twitter account is prone to hyperbole, but the question was legitimate after Redskins wide receiver Maurice Harris made an incredible, one-handed touchdown grab early in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Vikings: “CATCH OF THE YEAR??”
Harris’s 36-yard catch over Minnesota cornerback Trae Waynes, who couldn’t have been in much better position, was even more remarkable when you consider that it was his first of the season. The second-year pro out of Cal, who had eight catches in 10 games last season, was promoted from the practice squad on Saturday and active for the first time this year. He finished Washington’s 38-30 loss with two catches for 50 yards.
“It was just a go route, and I just kind of reacted to the ball when it was in the air,” Harris said of his highlight-reel catch on a pass from Kirk Cousins after the game. “I kind of surprised myself, but I just had to make a play for the team, so that’s what I tried to do.”
Harris’s touchdown catch, reminiscent of some of the one-handed catches Odell Beckham Jr. has made in recent years, was initially ruled incomplete. Upon replay review, officials ruled that Harris came down with possession of the ball in bounds.
“I kind of felt my right hip hit the ground, and a hip or a knee counts as two feet, so I knew that, and I felt pretty confident about that,” Harris said.
Fellow Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder and Cousins both knew Harris had that type of play in him.
“Aw man, it was crazy,” said Crowder, who had four catches for 76 yards. “He made a one-handed catch this week in practice, and I’ve seen him make catches like that before. So, I really wasn’t surprised. I was just happy for him — happy he was able to make that play. It’s his birthday week, so I told him on the sideline, ‘Man, you had a great birthday weekend.’ I know that he’s capable of making plays like that, I’ve seen it in practice. He’s a really good player, and I’m happy for him.”
“He’s been doing that in practice now, made one earlier this week that was a top-10 type play, a one-handed catch, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise to us,” Cousins said. “We were so excited to have him become activated because he has practiced at a level that was deserving of that, last year as well. And at the end of the season last year, he probably didn’t get as many opportunities as he or we would’ve liked, but I think we’re excited about him going forward and what he can bring to the table. … He’s the right kind of guy. He understands the running game well, blocks well, does his job, very unselfish, just the right kind of guy for your team.”
Was it the catch of the year? Possibly. At the very least, it was the catch of the weekend, even if the Vikings didn’t think much of it.
Master Tesfatsion contributed to this story.
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