BOSTON (CBS) — N’Keal Harry has officially gotten his hands on a football in an NFL game.
It was pretty impressive, too. But the positive vibe was short-lived.
The rookie first-round pick was on the field for the Patriots on Thursday night, despite appearing to suffer a hamstring injury on the practice field on Tuesday. And when he was targeted for the first time during the Patriots’ second drive of the game, he showed why the Patriots were willing to spend the 32nd overall pick on him during April’s draft.
It came on a third-and-10 from the Detroit 23-yard line. Harry lined up on the left side, lined up in man coverage against cornerback Mike Ford. Harry ran past the sticks, dug his feet, separated himself from Ford on a comeback route, and then found the football and made a diving catch for a gain of 11 yards and a first down.
It wasn’t the world’s easiest catch, but Harry made it look fairly simple.
— DocFlynn (@jessdeede) August 9, 2019
And he wasn’t done.
On the Patriots’ next drive, Harry beat cornerback Jamal Agnew up the left sideline and spun to make a back-shoulder catch. After hitting the turf, Harry didn’t hear a whistle, so he popped to his feet and begun running up the field.
At that point, the whistle blew, but linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin finished the play and tackled Harry.
The receiver popped to his feet and showed a slight limp, but he stayed in the game. When the Patriots broke the next huddle, though, Harry’s limp was apparent, so the Patriots called timeout and instructed Harry to walk to the sideline.
N'Keal Harry now with a 25-yard catch against the #Lions
But he did limp off after the play.pic.twitter.com/oymdzqXpLu
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 9, 2019
He made it there under his own power, and it didn’t appear to be anything major. But after Tuesday’s injury scare, this wasn’t what anyone involved with the Patriots wanted to see.
Harry was tended to in the medical tent on the sideline, and remained off the field for the remainder of the offensive drive. He did not return.