Sony Michel had to work off a few pounds before he could get back on the field for the New England Patriots this summer.
Patriots running back coach Ivan Fears said Wednesday that Michel “got heavy” following his offseason foot surgery.
“He got heavy after the surgery, and he had to get back down,” Fears said. “So yes, he’s worked on it. He worked on it hard and got back to where he needed to be.”
Michel opened Patriots training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, and some reports indicated his injury could sideline him into the regular season. He ultimately was activated Aug. 26 and has participated in each of New England’s last six practices.
Fears likes what he’s seen from the third-year pro thus far but said Michel has catching up to do after missing significant practice time.
“He’s got fresh legs,” Fears said. “We have to beat on him a little bit more first, and then we’ll see what he has going. He’s coming back off after missing the first 2 1/2, three weeks of training camp — hell yeah, he’s going to be fresh and quick.
“His weight is good, no doubt. We’ve worked hard on that. He looks good. He doesn’t show any signs of slowing down from the injury, anything along those lines. We just have to finish getting him ready for a season. That takes a little more beating on.”
Michel was the Patriots’ leading rusher in each of his first two NFL seasons but saw his yards-per-carry average drop from 4.5 in 2018 to 3.7 in 2019. This season, he’s competing for the team’s lead back role with second-year pro Damien Harris and veteran newcomer Lamar Miller, who was removed from PUP earlier this week.
The Patriots are scheduled to open the regular season next Sunday, Sept. 13, against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots