The Patriots saw the second of their first-round picks suffer a knee injury this week. Although it’s not viewed as a severe malady, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets Sony Michel could be out until early in the regular season.
Michel left Wednesday’s practice, and the exit left the team “concerned,” per Howe (on Twitter). This setback requires a corrective procedure, per Howe, and one that is expected to at the very least shelve the Georgia-developed running back for the preseason. Howe adds Michel’s recovery time might extend into the regular season.
This procedure already took place, with Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reporting (Twitter link) more optimistic news as a result. Michel will be out at least 10 days, which will almost certainly sideline him for at least two Pats preseason games but possibly having him ready to return later this month.
New England allowed Dion Lewis to defect to Tennessee this offseason but added Michel at No. 31. Michel can be expected to play a big role for the two-time defending AFC champions this season, but his acclimation process took a hit this week. The Pats still have James White and Rex Burkhead, and the Mike Gillislee–Jeremy Hill roster battle becomes more interesting as well. The former Bengals back likely has the edge here, per NESN’s Doug Kyed (on Twitter).
Knee issues affected Michel during the lead-up to the draft, with The Ringer’s Michael Lombardi indicating some concern among teams existed because of a bone-on-bone condition in Michel’s left knee. Michel also has a torn ACL in his past, though that injury occurred back in high school.
The Patriots were obviously satisfied with Michel’s medical reports to take him in Round 1, the first time New England’s used a first-rounder on a running back since Laurence Maroney in 2006.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.