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Patriots vs Texans injury analysis: Damien Harris’ departure tests the New England running back depth

Related: Rhamondre Stevenson gives encouraging injury update on Patriots teammate Damien Harris

New England Patriots Vs. Houston Texans at NRG Stadium Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Even though they managed to improve their record to 2-3, the New England Patriots cannot be entirely happy about their Week 5 win over the Houston Texans. Not only did they play some sloppy football in the first half of the game — finding themselves in a 13-point hole in the early third quarter — they also saw some of their players go down with injuries.

Let’s take a closer look at who went down, and what it might mean in the grand scheme of things.

Injury analysis

DT Carl Davis: Midway through the first quarter, Davis came up limping following a short catch-and-run. The big-bodied defender gingerly walked to the sideline and was later announced as questionable to return because of a knee injury. However, he eventually found his way back onto the field and finished the day with 18 defensive snaps (of 59; 31%).

DT Davon Godchaux: According to the CBS broadcast, Godchaux was also dealing with a knee injury during Sunday’s. However, there was no official announcement by the team and the free agency acquisition finished the game on the field — having played 51 percent of New England’s defensive snaps (30 of 59).

LB Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy, who was listed as questionable on the injury report due to a groin issue, headed to the locker room late in the second quarter. The team did again not make an injury announcement, and the veteran linebacker was back on the field after halftime.

RB Damien Harris: New England’s lead running back left the game twice because of injuries. He first exited the game with a chest issue in the third quarter, and also left the field in the fourth period due to a rib injury. The rib 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 did not re-enter the game.

What this means for the Patriots

While the injuries suffered by Carl Davis, Davon Godchaux and Kyle Van Noy all appear to be of the minor variety, Damien Harris’ status will be one to keep an eye on. While the third-year man has had some ups and downs this season — he had 58 rushing yards and a touchdown on Sunday but also lost a fumble in the red area — he remains an integral part of New England’s offensive attack.

When Harris was out on Sunday, the Patriots’ running back depth was tested once again. The team turned to rookie Rhamondre Stevenson and veteran Brandon Bolden, who combined to gain 48 yards on 13 carries. There is no doubt, however, that the entire run game operation is a better one with its RB1 in the lineup.

So, when will he be back? There has not been any official word by the club, with head coach Bill Belichick not giving an update during his Monday morning press conference.

That said, Stevenson suggested that Harris should be alright moving forward.

“He’s going to be fine,” the youngster 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.”

The Patriots will release their first injury report of the week on Wednesday.