Patriots running back Sony Michel went down with a knee injury on Sunday, and while he will likely miss time, the issue is not expected to be “overly serious,” a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). New England believes Michel is dealing with “at least” an MCL injury, which would cause a multi-week absence but not end the rookie’s 2018 campaign, tweets Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston.
Michel, who was selected 31st overall earlier this year, had knee concerns heading into the draft and has a torn ACL on his record. Additionally, Michel suffered a knee injury in August that forced him to miss the preseason and the Patriots’ first regular season game. Given that track record, New England is surely worried about Michel’s current injury, but it doesn’t sound as though the Georgia product is in danger of missing the rest of the year.
Since returning to action in Week 2, Michel has quickly taken over as the Patriots’ lead back, and he’s led the team in carries each week since. All told, Michel has managed 4.4 yards per carry on 95 rushes while scoring four touchdowns. He’s given New England the ability to sustain a running game, and ranks fifth in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ success rate, meaning he’s excellent at keeping the Patriots’ offense on schedule with regard to down and distance.
The Patriots have already placed fellow backs Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill on injured reserve, leaving James White and Kenjon Barner as the only healthy runners on New England’s roster. Practice-squader Kenneth Farrow is a candidate to be promoted, but the Patriots could also look at the free agent market. They’ve reportedly expressed interest in reuniting with Mike Gillislee, and they’ve worked out a number of backs — including Orleans Darkwa and Charcandrick West — throughout the season.
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