Charles Harris was a heck of a free agent find for the Detroit Lions in 2021. He went on to lead the team in sacks that season, with 7.5, as he rescued his career and got a multi-year deal to stay in Detroit.
A groin injury led to a truncated 2022 season for Harris, with one sack in six games. Simply being healthier lined him up to have something of a rebound this season.
Harris has 1.5 sacks in six games this season, as he has played 59 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps (227 snaps). But he only played 18 snaps in Week 6 against Tampa Bay, which could have been seen as a sign.
When the inactives for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens came out, the sign from last week had a tangible result. Harris is a healthy scratch.
Detroit Lions' Week 7 inactives: Charles Harris an eye-opening, but not really surprising, healthy scratch
Harris has the aforementioned 1.5 sacks, which came in back-to-back games (one sack against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and a 0.5 sack in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers). But beyond that, and overall, his impact as a pass rusher has not been noticeable. He has a total of four quarterback hits and seven hurries. per Pro Football Reference, and his pass rush win rate via Pro Football Focus is dismal. Beyond pass rushing, both of his tackles for loss this season game in the game against Atlanta.
The return of second-year defensive lineman Josh Paschal this week made it a little easier for the Lions to bench Harris if they wanted to. Romeo and Julian Okwara provide depth off the edge, and John Cominsky may play more on Sunday too.
The eye-opening part of Harris being a healthy scratch on Sunday is rooted in his name and the fact he's a defensive captain. But he hasn't really been producing, and his role was greatly diminished last week. The signs were there, so it was probably only a matter of time before Harris was benched. That time is now.