Patriots Inactives Reaction: Damien Harris Officially Active Vs. Bills

Plus: A notable roster decision at cornerback


FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots will have their leading rusher back in action Sunday afternoon.

Running back Damien Harris officially is active for the Patriots’ matchup with the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium after being listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.

Harris suffered the injury during New England’s win in Buffalo three weeks ago — after running for 111 yards and a touchdown on the Bills’ defense — and sat out last Saturday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He’ll be expected to carry the load Sunday with Rhamondre Stevenson on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Here is the Patriots’ full inactive list for Week 16:

WR Nelson Agholor (concussion)
S Joshuah Bledsoe (calf)
CB Shaun Wade (healthy scratch)
QB Jarrett Stidham (healthy scratch)
TE Devin Asiasi (healthy scratch)
CB Joejuan Williams (healthy scratch)

Some observations:

— Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne is active after being removed from the COVID list on Saturday. He’ll likely see an increased workload with Agholor unavailable. N’Keal Harry (hip) also is active.

The Patriots elevated Kristian Wilkerson from the practice squad for additional wideout depth.

— Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, who leads the Patriots in defensive tackles this season (81), is active. Bentley played just two series against Indianapolis before exiting with an ankle injury.

Linebacker Josh Uche also makes his return to the lineup after being activated off injured reserve.

— With Stevenson out, running back J.J. Taylor draws back into the lineup to complement Harris and third-down back Brandon Bolden. Taylor has not played since Week 10 and spent three weeks on COVID reserve before being activated earlier this week.

— Elevated practice squadder D’Angelo Ross, a slot/safety hybrid, got the nod over Wade and Williams, who both are healthy inactives. Ross has been with the Patriots since May 2019 but has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game.

— Defensive end Deatrich Wise will not play after being placed on the COVID list Saturday.

— Here are the Bills’ inactives:

Buffalo also will be without receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, offensive linemen Cody Ford and Jon Feliciano and defensive end A.J. Epeneas, all of whom are on the COVID list.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.

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