The second-year Redskins wide receiver came down with perhaps the best catch of the NFL on Sunday, extending out for a one-handed grab in the front corner of the end zone.
Just two days after promotion from the practice squad to the active roster, Maurice Harris made the catch of his career.
The wide receiver palmed a 36-yard pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins for an impressive, one-handed touchdown reception on the Washington Redskins' opening drive against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 action.
The catch was both Harris' first of the season and the first touchdown of his career.
He joined Josh Doctson as the second Redskins receiver to record a touchdown on his first reception of the season. Though Doctson completed the feat with a 52-yard touchdown in the same corner of the same end zone seven weeks earlier against Oakland, Harris' circus catch stands out as one of the most notable plays of the season.
"It was just a go-route," Harris said. "I kind of worked my guy at the line and was running. I looked up and I'd seen the ball and I just reacted to it. I was surprised myself. I figured I was in, but I wasn't 100 percent sure."
While Harris may not have expected to make such a sensational catch in his first minutes of play this season, teammates anticipated a high-level performance from the 6-foot-3 receiver.
Tackle Morgan Moses recognizes Harris' talent and dedication in practice, so he looked for nothing less from the California product when taking the field with him last Sunday.
"He makes those catches every day in practice, so you expect greatness when you see greatness in practice," Moses said. "When you go out there and go balls to the wall every day in practice and you make those catches, you expect yourself to make those on game day. So, for him being activated two days ago and go out there and make a game-changing play like that on our first drive, the guy, he showed up."
Fellow wide receiver Jamison Crowder expressed support for Harris, also noting his abilities and work ethic when preparing for game day.
"I've seen him make catches like that before in practice, so I wasn't really surprised. I was just happy for him, happy that he was able to make that play," Crowder said. "It's his birthday week. I was talking to him on the sideline, saying he was going to have a great birthday. But I know he's capable of making a play like that, I've seen him practice. He's a really good player and I'm happy for him."
Harris, who turned 25 years old on Saturday, celebrated with an active roster spot, a remarkable catch, and 50 total receiving yards from his single appearance this season.
Cousins believes Harris is a "natural receiver" that can enhance the offense, so the quarterback looks forward to building on his teammate's recent performance.
"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."
Entering his second season in Washington, Harris also moved from the practice squad to the active roster his rookie year. He went on to log eight passes for 66 yards. After two years in the offense, he has been able to develop a solid relationship with Cousins.
"It's a chemistry thing," Harris said of his connection with the quarterback. "In practice, I get reps with the ones and stuff. I'm thankful for that, to get that chance to practice with them so we can practice and get our chemistry going. I think he felt pretty good throwing me the ball because I get reps in practice and that's where it starts."
Beyond skill, however, Cousins finds Harris' positive mindset an asset for Washington.
"He's the right kind of guy," Cousins said. "He understands the running game well, blocks well, does his job, very unselfish, just the right kind of guy for your team."
Head coach Jay Gruden agrees that Harris has earned his position on the active roster. He believes the wide receiver will enhance the Redskins' offense in this role.
"Maurice is good because he can play all three positions," Gruden said. "He's physical. He can block in our running game, so it's good to get him up. He's been great on the practice squad and deserves an opportunity."
Harris made the most of his time on the field, even if his skilled scoring play could not lead the team to a win. He is optimistic about improvement for this week's matchup in New Orleans and hopes to continue to contribute to Redskins efforts for the remainder of the season.
"You know, it's a tough loss, but we competed every play," he said. "We control our effort, it might not have gone our way out there offensively, defensively, special teams as a group. We're looking to get better. We'll get better this week in practice and fix what we need to fix to move on to the Saints."