Harris attended Madison Southern High School in Berea, Kentucky. While playing for the Southern Eagles he rushed for a total of 6,748 yards with 122 touchdowns and was rated by Rivals.com as a five-star recruit. He accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Alabama to play under head coach Nick Saban, passing over offers from Kentucky and Ohio State.
Harris began playing as a true freshman, as a backup to Derrick Henry in 2015. Over the course of 12 games he carried 46 times for 157 yards. He succeeded Henry as the starter in 2016, beating out Bo Scarbrough for the role. In 15 games that year he ran for 1,040 yards on 145 carries with two touchdowns, and also caught 14 passes for 99 yards and two more scores. In 2017 Harris had 1,000 yards on 136 carries, and found the end zone 11 times. In his senior season he split carries with Josh Jacobs, Najee Harris and Brian Robinson, as well as quarterback Jalen Hurts, but still managed 876 yards and 22 receptions with 9 touchdowns. He finished his college career as the 8th Alabama player to exceed 3,000 yards rushing. Harris graduated in December 2018 with a bachelor's degree in communications studies.
Harris was selected by the New England Patriots in the 87th overall pick in round 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft. He made only one appearance during his rookies season, netting 12 yards on 4 carries in a 33-0 blowout of the New York Jets in week 7. He began the 2020 season on the injured reserve with a broken finger. He took the field in week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, reaching 100 yards in 17 carries. He finished the season back on injured reserve, but still led the Patriots in rushing with 691 yards and 2 touchdowns in 10 games. He was the Patriot's lead back in 2021, missing one game with a concussion and sharing duties with Rhamondre Stevenson later in the season. He had his best year as a professional, scoring 15 touchdowns with 929 yards in 202 attempts. In 2022 injuries to his hamstring and thigh limited his opportunities and he finished the season with 462 yards on 106 carries.
Going into the 2023 season, Harris became a free agent. He signed a 1-year $1.7 million contract with their AFC East division rival Buffalo Bills. In five games he amassed 93 yards on 22 carries with one touchdown. In week 6 he suffered a neck injury in his first carry against the Las Vegas Raiders. He was taken by ambulance to the Erie County Medical Center. He was diagnosed with sprain and released the next day.
- Potter, Charlie (December 18, 2018) "Damien Harris calls graduating 'my greatest accomplishment'." 247Sports.com
- Holton, Brooks (November 30, 2018) "Damien Harris: 5 things to know about Alabama football's running back." USA Today
- "Damien Harris" (October 16, 2023) Wikipedia - accessed October 19, 2023
- Sullivan, Tyler (October 16, 2023) "Bills' Damien Harris released from hospital after exiting Week 6 game via ambulance; RB's neck should be fine." CBSSports.com