The New England Patriots escaped Houston with a victory, beating the Texans with a final score of 25-22 after a strong second half rally. Before their successful comeback, however, they had plenty of forgettable moments on both sides of the ball.
Three of those involved their lead running back, Damien Harris. While Harris did finish the day with 58 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, he also lost another fumble in the red zone and also had to leave the game twice because of injury.
According to one of Harris’ teammates, however, he should be fine moving forward.
“He’s going to be fine,” fellow running back Rhamondre Stevenson said during his postgame press conference. “I mean, he’s a tough dude. He can weather any storm, so I’m not really worried about it. I know he’s not really too worried about it. I know he’s just going to go back to work and get his body back right [and] do whatever he has to do.”
Stevenson, who was a game day active for the just the second time in his young career, helped fill the void after Harris’ two departures. The fourth-round rookie finished the game with 11 carries for 23 yards. Those numbers do not stand out, but they are a step in the right direction for the youngster.
As for the man ahead of him on the depth chart, he will remain in the spotlight heading into the next week.
The Patriots are expected to return to the practice fields on Tuesday, with the first injury report of the week coming out one day later. Damien Harris will be a player to watch on both occasions, despite Stevenson’s encouraging injury update following Sunday’s contest.
Harris first exited the game against the Texans in the third quarter with a chest issue. He also left the field in the fourth period due to a rib injury.
That second ailment saw him stay on the ground after an 8-yard run (that was later negated by an offensive holding penalty) and gingerly walk off the field while being attended by members of the Patriots’ training staff. Harris left for the locker room, and despite “only” being labeled as questionable to return did not re-enter the game.
Given how important the 24-year-old is for the Patriots’ offensive operation, his status is one worth keeping a close eye on. That said, it seems as if he and the team may have dodged a bullet on Sunday.