BOSTON (CBS) — It’s been pretty clear over the last month that the Patriots have a No. 1 running back in Damien Harris. Unfortunately, the powerful runner was hurt late in Monday night’s comeback win over the New York Jets and his status for Week 10 remains unknown.
Harris left the Patriots’ 30-27 victory in New Jersey with five minutes left in the fourth quarter after taking a massive hit from New York linebacker Tarell Basham. Harris stayed down on the ground for several minutes after the heavy collision and was eventually helped off the field by New England’s medical staff.
Harris was listed as questionable to return but never made it back on the field. It’s possible that he could have been held out given how late it was in the contest, but it looked like he suffered a pretty severe chest injury when his world collided with Basham’s.
After the game, it wasn’t clear if Harris’ injury would keep him out of Sunday’s matchup with the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens. Working against Harris is the fact that the Patriots are on a short week, with a quick turnaround after playing on Monday night. All eyes will be on Harris as the Patriots hit the practice field later this week.
This would be a huge loss for the New England offense, a unit that has struggled with consistency all season. Harris had rushed for 71 yards on only 14 carries before going down against the Jets, including a key 21-yard run in the fourth quarter just prior to the injury. A hand injury kept the second-year back out of the first three games of the season, but he’s rushed for 350 yards on 61 carries in his five games this season, averaging a robust 5.6 yards per carry.
Harris took over the top running back gig from the injured Sony Michel, who was on the practice field last week but has yet to be activated from IR. Michel has been shelved since Week 4 with a quad injury. Rex Burkhead (12 carries, 56 yards, touchdown vs. New York) and James White (four receptions, 24 yards) are New England’s only healthy running backs at the moment.