New York Giants running back Alfred Morris had waited long enough.
It was Dec. 30, 2018, and Morris was a member of the San Francisco 49ers the last time he recorded an NFL touchdown. In the third quarter on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, at long last, Morris crossed the goal line with a four-yard scamper up the middle.
The wait for his next touchdown wasn’t quite so long. A little more than five minutes later, he notched another score with a six-yard reception.
Morris’s two touchdowns gave the Giants a 14-5 lead they would not relinquish on their way to a 17-12 upset road victory. The Giants are 5-7 but have now won four in a row and sit a half-game in front of Washington for first place in the NFC East.
ANOTHER ONE ❗️
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 6, 2020
When asked after the game about his two scores and the long wait he’s had to endure since his last touchdown, Morris was honest about his mindset during his long dry spell.
“Most days I didn’t doubt, but there were a couple days I doubted. Like, ‘Why am I training? Why am I doing this? It looks bleak.’ But I was always reminded why I kept going, and the opportunity presented itself so I’m super thankful,” Morris said in his postgame press conference. “It’s been a while since I got in the end zone so that felt really good today to get in there not once, but twice.”
Despite coming out of a small school like Florida Atlantic, Morris’s NFL career started with a bang. His first three years in the league saw him eclipse the 1,000-yard threshold with Washington each year, and make the Pro Bowl twice. After another season in Washington, Morris signed with the Dallas Cowboys, where he was a backup to superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott.
He spent the 2018 season in San Francisco (where he scored his final two touchdowns before Sunday’s game). In October 2019, Morris signed with the Arizona Cardinals but recorded only one carry for four yards and was released the following month. He was out of the league until the Giants came calling in late September.
Morris began on the Giants’ practice squad, but due to injuries to star running back Saquon Barkley and his replacement, Devonta Freeman, he was elevated to the active roster last month. Wayne Gallman is now the team’s starter, and he totaled a career-high 135 rushing yards Sunday, but it was Morris who punched it in for the scores.
During the long, hard months of uncertainty about his NFL future, Morris used bags of mulch to create a makeshift bench press to stay ready for any NFL team that wanted him. He also sought to remain thankful and content in his faith in Christ, even as he was discontented with the circumstances that surrounded his career as a professional football player.
“I’m at the bottom right now, Morris said in an episode of the Sports Spectrum Podcast in July 2017. “But I’m content in life, content in all things. I’m staying focused on Him.”
Morris said he wouldn’t let his personal disappointments keep him from humbling himself and glorifying God.
“If I wasn’t playing, I was praying,” he said. “I’d cover my team, the other team, the stadium, in prayer. ‘I’m going to let Your light shine, even in this dark time.'” He added later, “There is a real God and He really does love us and He’ll never give up on us.”
#1Peter4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
— Alfred Morris (@FredoSauce) June 19, 2017
Morris has been outspoken about his faith throughout his time on the sport’s biggest stage. In 2017, he wore cleats with the Bible verse Matthew 19:26 written on them, and in 2013, he was featured in Sports Spectrum Magazine.
“Christ died on the cross for my sins. That’s the greatest gift,” Morris told Sports Spectrum at that time. “I’m undeserving, but He’s still using me. I don’t focus on the temptations. I don’t focus on the lifestyles like some guys do. God is my focus.”
Morris hopes to add more touchdowns and wins as he and his Giants teammates get set to host the 6-6 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
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