During last week’s preseason opener against the Detroit Lions, the New England Patriots gave most members of their rookie class an extensive look. One notable exception was running back Damien Harris, who was the only healthy first-year player not to see time on the field. In his place, veteran Brandon Bolden and fellow rookie Nick Brossette received considerable snaps as the one-two punch in the backfield.
The Patriots were obviously content with managing Harris’ workload. Why, you might ask? It looks like an injury might be one of the reasons for that: according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the 87th overall selection of this year’s draft is dealing with a hand/wrist injury. The issue, however, is considered to be minor and should therefore not affect the Alabama product’s long-term availability as a depth option in the Patriots’ offense.
Harris is still participating in practice despite the ailment, but no longer seeing the same number of reps he did earlier during training camp. Of course, the re-emergence of Sony Michel also might play a role in that: with Michel looking good as the lead back despite missing most of the offseason after undergoing a minor knee procedure, it appears as if Harris’ role is primarily that of a depth/emergency player at this point in time.