As entertaining as the Cordarrelle Patterson experiment has been, the New England Patriots should have their top ball-carrier back in action this Sunday.

Rookie running back Sony Michel is “likely” to play against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games with a knee injury, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday night.

Michel injured his knee early in the second quarter of the Patriots’ Week 7 win over the Chicago Bears. He sat out victories over the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers but has participated in each of New England’s last four practices, albeit in a limited capacity.

With Michel, who also missed time due to knee issues during the preseason, unavailable for the last two games, the Patriots have used Patterson as their unlikely lead back. The wide receiver/kick returner carried the ball a team-high 21 times against the Bills and Packers, totaling 99 yards and one touchdown.

The status of Rob Gronkowski, meanwhile, is less certain. Schefter suggested the Patriots, who have a bye after the Titans game, could rest their star tight end as he continues to recover from ankle and back injuries.

Gronkowski has missed two of the Patriots’ last three games. He did not play Sunday night against the Packers.

“It’s been a season-long question with Rob Gronkowski, who’s really been week to week with back and ankle injuries,” Schefter said on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Countdown.” “But keep in mind that after playing the Titans on Sunday, the Patriots have a bye, so if they rest Gronkowski this week, that would get him two weeks of rest for the price of one, but these issues have nagged at Gronkowski all year long. They continue to do the same.”

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