BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are down two of their top rushers in Monday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But New England will have another one of their promising young running backs active for the first time this season.
Damien Harris has been taken off IR and will suit up for the Patriots against the Chiefs. The second-year runner had an impressive training camp, but started on IR after suffering a hand injury just before the season opener.
Harris, a third-round pick in 2019, should see some action in his 2020 debut, as the Patriots are without quarterback Cam Newton and running back Sony Michel on Monday night. Newton, who has rushed for 149 yards this season, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, forcing the league to push this weekend’s Pats-Chiefs showdown to Monday night. Michel, who is New England’s leading rusher with 179 yards over the first three games, was ruled out Monday morning and was later placed on IR with a quad injury.
So Harris will be a welcome addition to the New England backfield against the Chiefs. He joins Rex Burkhead (83 rushing yards, two touchdowns on the season), James White (22 rushing yards, 30 receiving yards) and rookie JJ Taylor (70 rushing yards) in the Patriots’ stable of running backs. They should each get plenty of carries with veteran Brian Hoyer under center in place of Newton.
Harris appeared in only two games as a rookie in 2019 and rushed for just 12 yards on four carries. But he figures to have a promising future in New England after rushing for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in his four seasons at Alabama.
The Patriots also activated receiver Gunner Olszewski off IR prior to Monday’s game.
Tune in to Monday night’s Patriots-Chiefs game on WBZ-TV, with kickoff set for shortly after 7 p.m.! After the game, switch over to TV38 for all the reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!