BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots running back Rex Burkhead hasn’t played in either of New England’s preseason games, and he’s been absent at practice for over a week.

We finally found out why Friday morning. According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, Burkhead is dealing with a slight tear in his knee. It’s a minor injury that will not require surgery, and one Burkhead will be able to play through when the regular season arrives. But don’t expect him to see the field during the preseason, as the team doesn’t push the 28-year-old. Chances are we won’t see Burkhead in action until Week 1 against the Houston Texans.

Injuries limited Burkhead to 10 games last season, his first in New England. But he was a big part of the Patriots’ backfield, rushing for 264 yards and five touchdowns while adding 254 receiving yards on 30 receptions and three touchdowns.

Rookie running back Sony Michel is also dealing with a knee injury that will probably keep him out of the preseason. Burkhead and newcomer Jeremy Hill will likely be splitting duties as New England’s first-down back when the regular season gets underway, with James White serving as their pass-catching back.

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