BOSTON (CBS) — Rex Burkhead had to make an early exit from Sunday night’s embarrassing loss to the Lions in Detroit, as the Patriots running back continues to struggle to stay on the field.

Burkhead left Sunday’s loss in the second half with a neck injury, leaving the Patriots with just Sony Michel and James White out of their offensive backfield. Burkhead did not log a single carry but had two catches for 26 yards before leaving the game.

The 28-year-old battled a concussion following New England’s Week 1 win over the Houston Texans, so any injury to the head or neck area is a cause for concern with the fifth-year back. Through three weeks of the season, he has 24 carries for 86 yards and three receptions for another 31 yards.

The New England offense can’t really afford to lose another player, with running back Jeremy Hill already lost for the season back in Week 1. Julian Edelman has to sit out one more game due to his four-game suspension, and it’s unclear when newcomer Josh Gordon will make his debut for the team.

Burkhead struggled with injuries last season as well, playing in just 10 regular season games for the Patriots while also missing time during the playoffs. If he can’t go for Sunday’s game against the 3-0 Miami Dolphins, expect an even bigger workload for rookie Sony Michel. And maybe Tom Brady will get his wish to have White more involved in the team’s offense.



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