FOXBORO, Mass. — Multiple Patriots teammates can relate to what happened to Demario Douglas on Sunday.

Tight end Hunter Henry lost a fumble with two minutes remaining in the third game of his rookie season. He shared that story with Douglas this week, noting he was able to quickly bounce back with a touchdown catch in the very next game.

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson also experienced similar ignominy early in his New England career. But he had to wait much longer for his redemption.

Stevenson, who endured a rough rookie training camp in 2021, fumbled in his first game as a Patriot, then was exiled to the inactive list. The fourth-round draft pick was a healthy scratch for each of the next three games and wasn’t able to carve out a regular role in New England’s offense until early November.

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Now two years removed from that humble start, Stevenson hopes Douglas is able to follow Henry’s path rather than his own.

“I talked to him the day after the game,” Stevenson said Wednesday. “I said, ‘The same thing happened to me, and I missed a lot of games off of it. I hope you don’t miss as many games as me off of it.’

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“Hopefully he gets back on the field soon. Young guy, first couple games, he’s trying to get in the swing of things just like I was, just like every rookie is when they first come into the league.”

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Douglas didn’t play another offensive snap after losing a fumble on the final play of the first quarter in Sunday night’s 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. He called the benching a valuable and necessary lesson but said he believed he “could have made a difference” had he been on the field.

Some of New England’s most established offensive players seemingly agree. Mac Jones, Henry and Stevenson all strongly endorsed the sixth-round rookie this week, with Henry going as far as to say the Patriots “need” him.

Though he lacks experience, Douglas has shown more explosiveness and play-making ability in his limited game action than any other Patriots wideout. Even offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said he has “a lot of confidence” in the undersized Liberty product, and that the Patriots “like when Pop’s in the game.”

“Like everyone’s said, we’re super confident in that guy,” Stevenson said, “and he’s going to be better.”

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The 0-2 Patriots will visit the 1-1 New York Jets this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Featured image via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images