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Patriots rule out running back Damien Harris against Raiders

Related: Patriots vs. Raiders Friday injury report: Rhamondre Stevenson, Jakobi Meyers among 6 questionable

NFL: New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris will miss his third straight game because of a thigh injury. As was announced by the team on Saturday, the 25-year-old has been downgraded from questionable to out for the upcoming Week 15 game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Harris originally injured his thigh in the Patriots’ Thanksgiving day loss in Minnesota. His absence ever since has led to even more opportunities for Rhamondre Stevenson and, after he himself suffered an injury on Monday against the Arizona Cardinals, rookies Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris.

With Harris now out another week and Stevenson questionable as well due to an ankle issue, the two youngsters might again see prominent playing time. Prior to the Patriots’ win in Arizona, both had only seen marginal opportunities.

As far as Harris is concerned, Saturday’s news adds another chapter to what has so far been a challenging season. The former third-round draft pick, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, already missed one game each due to a hamstring injury and an illness before hurting his thigh. In total, he has therefore appeared in only nine games.

Losing the top running back spot to Stevenson, he has carried the football a total of 84 times for 383 yards and three touchdowns. Harris has also caught 13 passes for 75 yards, giving him 458 scrimmage yards on the year — the fourth highest number on the team.

With him downgraded, the Patriots have now ruled out four players against Las Vegas. Also inactive will be wide receiver DeVante Parker (concussion), offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) and cornerback Jalen Mills (groin).

Additionally, five more players remain listed as questionable: the aforementioned Stevenson (ankle) as well as wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (concussion), offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (calf/back), cornerback Jack Jones (knee) and long snapper Joe Cardona (ankle).

The Patriots’ game versus the Raiders is scheduled for a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium.