A thumb injury has put Rhamondre Stevenson’s status for Sunday’s New England Patriots season opener in question.
The Patriots rookie running back suffered a dislocated thumb in practice last week, according to a report Wednesday from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Stevenson was able to practice Monday, however, and Howe’s source indicated “(t)here’s some optimism he should be OK to play Sunday against the Dolphins.”
The Patriots selected Stevenson in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Oklahoma product enjoyed a stellar preseason, leading the NFL in rushing yards (217) and rushing touchdowns (five) by wide margins. He also finished as the league’s preseason leader in rushing yards over expected, per NFL Next Gen Stats; was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded running back and ranked second in yards per carry (7.2), trailing only teammate J.J. Taylor (7.8).
“I think he’s improved a lot in his running and also just in general fundamentals and assignments and those kinds of things,” head coach Bill Belichick said last week. “He’s had a good camp.”
Stevenson and Taylor will provide depth behind projected lead back Damien Harris and top pass-catching back James White, with veteran Brandon Bolden expected to contribute mostly on special teams. Evidently encouraged by their two young rushers’ performances this summer, the Patriots traded 2018 first-round pick Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams last month.
The Patriots will release their first injury report of the season Wednesday afternoon. Kickoff for Sunday’s Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins is set for 4:25 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.