Damien Harris Injury: Patriots Coach Shares Positive Update On Running Back

Harris exited Thursday's game with a back injury

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December 11, 2020

Damien Harris might have avoided a serious injury during Thursday night’s 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The New England Patriots running back exited the game early in the fourth quarter after suffering a back injury. Position coach Ivan Fears said Harris’s condition had improved by game’s end but wouldn’t predict whether the second-year pro would miss time.

“He was much better by the time we left, by the time the game was over, which was great,? Fears said Friday in a conference call. ?It?s one of those things that you never know what shows up today or tomorrow, that?s kinda the thing about it. We?re feeling pretty good. We?re feeling pretty confident right now, but who knows? We got banged up a little bit, and we’ll go with whoever we’ve got.”

With Rex Burkhead lost for the season due to a knee injury, the Patriots’ depth chart behind Harris consists of Sony Michel, James White and undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor, who hasn’t played since Week 3.

Michel likely would see the largest uptick in snaps if Harris can’t go next Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. The 2018 first-round draft pick served as New England’s lead back for his first two seasons before suffering an injury in early October and losing his spot to Harris.

Michel missed seven games due to quad injury and also tested positive for COVID-19 during his absence. He’s carried the ball 17 times for 57 yards over the last two games.

?He?s been a real team player,” Fears said. “He knows that Damien is really playing well, and Sony is sort of waiting for an opportunity to show what he can do, which is what you expect. He?s done a good job. He?s always up to date. Of course, he always knows what to do. He?s always ready to go. He always practices hard. He?s the kind of guy you just love having around — the kind of guy that you can depend on.

“We?re very fortunate. I?m very fortunate to have those guys. No matter who goes down, I know I?ve got a great player that can step in and keep us on track. We?re very fortunate from that standpoint at my position.”

Taylor also likely would draw back into the lineup if Harris misses time. Fears recently said the Patriots like the Arizona product’s potential but believe he has weaknesses in his game that need improvement.

Thumbnail photo via Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears
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