One of the biggest stories coming out of the New England Patriots’ 38-31 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday was the injury status of running back Sony Michel. The rookie was hurt early in the second quarter during a running play: he stayed on the ground after getting awkwardly twisted during the tackle attempt and had to be helped off the field. Michel was subsequently declared “out” after he was carted to the locker room.
The injury looked bad but initial reports were actually rather encouraging: Michel’s injury was not expected to be season-ending, but until an MRI there was still uncertainty surrounding the first-round rookie. However, it now looks rather certain that he and the team have dodged a major bullet (according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport):
Sources: #Patriots RB Sony Michel’s knee injury is not considered serious following his MRI. His timetable isn’t clear, but this is pretty good news for their impressive rookie runner. He still could miss time, but if he does, it may not be much.
This is the best possible outcome for New England and a player that missed most of training camp due to an injury to the same knee. While the timetable has yet to be set, it would not be a surprise to see the Patriots keep Michel out until after the bye week. After all, the team faces three middle-of-the-pack run defenses the next three weeks in the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and Tennessee Titans.
That being said, New England will likely still bring in another runner to offer depth alongside James White and Kenjon Barner.
[UPDATE] ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds more information about Michel’s diagnosis:
MRI on Patriots’ RB Sony Michel revealed no structural damage, per source. Michel will be considered week to week, per source. Best-case scenario for Michel and Patriots.