Luckily, the procedure was more of a “maintenance-based” one, but it’s still unclear if Michel will be fully healthy for training camp or if he will open camp on the PUP list. Last June, the Georgia product underwent a knee scope and spent the first two days of TC on the PUP list before returning to the field. He also had fluid drained from his knee during training camp of his rookie season in 2018, and he twisted his knee in a regular season game later that year and missed two games as a result.
Michel, 25, ultimately played in all 16 regular season games for the Pats last year. However, he was not especially impressive, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and accounting for a modest 23 defense-adjusted yards above replacement.
But he averaged 4.5 yards per carry in his rookie season across a similar number of attempts, and he does have a first-round pedigree, so he figures to continue playing a major role in the New England offense in 2020. However, the Pats are also rostering promising 2019 third-rounder Damien Harris, who may start to push Michel if he does not start performing at a higher level.
As they transition to Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, the Patriots may be leaning especially heavily on their running game in 2020. They will need Michel and the rest of the RB contingent, which also features talented pass-catching back James White, to be at their best.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.