New England Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel has been projected as a significant contributor to the team’s offense in 2018. Despite having to make his likely debut a bit later than anticipated, it appears that he will still be an impactful player for the Pats this season. 

Michel underwent a procedure to drain fluid from his knee after leaving Wednesday’s practice. Per sources (including ESPN’S Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter) he is expected to be sidelined for at least 10 days.

A source described the draining of the knee as more of a clean-up, referring to it as positive because it helped address some pre-existing issues. Per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (as told to him by sources), Michel will most likely miss significant time in the preseason. While it could extend into gje regular season, it is still too early to make that determination. 

A first-round draft pick out of Georgia (No. 31 overall), Michel left the SEC Championship Game against Auburn in December with a left knee sprain. He returned to play in the team’s final two games (Rose Bowl and the National Championship.) 

The Patriots still plan to pair the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Michel with Rex Burkhead and James White atop their running back depth chart.  However, with Michel temporarily sidelined, the chances of either Mike Gillislee or Jeremy Hill making the team have increased. 

The Patriots are set to open their preseason slate this Thursday, August 9 at Gillette Stadium versus Washington. 

-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media.  He covers the NFL and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC

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