Patriots’ Sony Michel Ruled Out For Monday Night Matchup Vs. Chiefs

No Cam Newton, now no Sony Michel

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The New England Patriots will be without their top two rushers when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night.

Two days after quarterback Cam Newton was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Patriots ruled out running back Sony Michel, who’d been listed as questionable with a quad injury.

Michel leads the Patriots with 173 rushing yards this season, 117 of which came in last Sunday’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Newton ranks second with 149 yards and has scored four of the team’s seven rushing touchdowns through three games.

With those two unavailable, the Patriots will rely on Rex Burkhead, James White, J.J. Taylor and potentially Damien Harris against a Kansas City team that boasts one of the NFL’s worst run defenses.

Harris, New England’s most impressive back in training camp, began the season on injured reserve with a finger injury and has yet to appear in a game. He returned to practice last week and could be added to the 53-man roster ahead of kickoff. (The Patriots entered Monday with two open roster spots.)

Burkhead and Taylor both impressed against the Raiders, with the former finishing with 98 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in one of the best games of his NFL career.

White is set to return to the lineup Monday night after sitting out the last two games following the death of his father.

With veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer expected to start at quarterback in Newton’s stead, the Patriots likely will need to rely heavily on their ground game against the heavily favored Chiefs. New England trails only the Cleveland Browns in rushing yards per game (178.0) and ranks fifth in yards per carry (5.09).

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
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