Patriots Rumors: Sony Michel Activated off IR, Returning from Injury vs. Texans

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IINovember 21, 2020

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carries the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The New England Patriots activated running back Sony Michel off injured reserve Saturday, indicating he will play Sunday against the Houston Texans, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

After a strong start to his career when he appeared in 13 games as a rookie and all 16 games in 2019, the 25-year-old has been limited during his third year in New England. The team placed him on injured reserve with a quad issue ahead of Week 4, and he missed New England's past six games.

In three games prior to landing on IR, Michel rushed for 173 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries, also catching two passes for 23 yards.

Michel's best game of 2020 was his final one before going on the shelf, as he rushed for 117 yards on just nine carries in the Pats' 36-20 Week 3 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Before the 2020 season, Michel had foot surgery, a year after undergoing a minor operation on his knee, though the procedures did not directly keep him off the field.

After rushing for 931 yards and six touchdowns en route to a Super Bowl win in his first season, the Georgia product posted 912 yards and scored seven times during his sophomore campaign.

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With Michel sitting, the Patriots activated 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris, who was out with ankle and chest injuries, to add support to a strong backfield that includes Rex Burkhead.

Harris has looked excellent during Michel's absence and leads the Patriots in rushing with 471 yards despite appearing in only six games.

Harris' playing time might affected the most, though, since he and Michel aren't a significant part of the passing game, unlike Burkhead and James White.

Still, getting Michel back is a positive for a Patriots team that has leaned heavily on the running attack this season, as it has helped mask some of quarterback Cam Newton's struggles as a passer.

The 4-5 Patriots will look to get back to the .500 mark Sunday when they face the 2-7 Texans on the road.