Rex Burkhead Avoids Major Knee Injury; Expected to Return for Playoffs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 03:  Rex Burkhead #34 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 3, 2017 in Orchard Park, New York. New England defeats Buffalo 23-3.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead suffered a knee injury in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced.

After the game, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Burkhead did not tear his ACL, and while he could miss time, the injury is not considered major.

On Monday morning, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported the "Patriots believe [Burkhead] suffered a sprained knee, along with a bruise from a player landing on it. No torn ACL. The early hope is for a return for the playoffs."

Burkhead exited after carrying the ball four times for 12 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one pass for five yards.

He was injured on a two-yard run in the third quarter. Patriots trainers evaluated the 27-year-old in the medical tent on the sideline before ruling him out for the game.

On the bright side for New England, running back is one of the deepest positions on the roster.

Mike Gillislee ran for 355 yards and four touchdowns through his first eight games but hasn't played since the team's Week 8 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Gillislee is a natural replacement to split time with Dion Lewis and James White in the backfield.

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