By most accounts, New England Patriots running back Damien Harris was either at, or near the top, of the short list of standouts during 2020 training camp. In fact, Harris has been so impressive that some have considered him the front runner for the starting role.
However, Patriots fans may have some additional wait time in store before getting a closer look at Damien Harris in his second season with the team.
On Thursday, it was reported that Harris is dealing with a hand injury, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Reiss’ report indicated that Harris has missed two straight practices and that the running back’s status for the Patriots’ season opener — set for Sunday, September 13 vs. the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium — is in question.
The Patriots drafted Harris out of Alabama with the 87th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Still, Harris suited up for just two games during his rookie season. He rushed four times for a total of 12 yards. That came after a highly productive collegiate career at Alabama, where he rushed for over 3,000 yards with 23 touchdowns on 477 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per rush. Harris also caught 52 passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns in college.
Earlier this week, New England raised more than a few eyebrows when they reportedly pursued free agent running back Leonard Fournette; despite a perceived surplus at the position. The Patriots’ running back depth chart includes Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Lamar Miller and undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor.
-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. He is also the host of the Locked On Patriots podcast. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC