What Rex Burkhead Injury Means for Damien Harris, Sony Michel

With Rex Burkhead out for the rest of the season, the New England Patriots will have some decisions to make in the backfield.
Publish date:

The New England Patriots didn't just lose a game, they lost one of their best weapons out of the backfield. Rex Burkhead appears to be out for the season after suffering a brutal knee injury in Week 11 against the Houston Texans. 

That will have major implications for New England's backfield. They will have to adjust their offense as we near the end of the 2020 season.

One of the biggest implications of Burkhead's injury is that Damien Harris should continue to get plenty of carries. There were some worries about what would happen to Harris' role when Sony Michel returned. Even though he didn't play in Week 11, Michel was activated off of Injured Reserve. 

Now that Burkhead is out of the question, Harris will have plenty of carries. It might still be unknown if he will continue to get the lion's share of the carries, but he should still get plenty of chances to show what he can do based on his production thus far and the lack of depth at the position now. 

On the other hand, there is Michel, who might actually have saved his Patriots career now that Burkhead is injured. It seemed like the Patriots didn't have room for Michel in their scheme anymore. Now that Burkhead is out of the equation, there seems to be a chance for Michel to earn his starting job back.

Harris has been great since Michel went down with an injury. In seven games this season, Harris has three games with over 100 yards rushing. In total, he has accumulated 514 rushing yards on 96 carries (5.4 yards per carry) and two touchdowns on the ground this season. 

Fans have simply enjoyed how Harris runs the ball. He is able to gain yards at an impressive pace and is able to find the hole rather quickly. 

James White has continued to have the passing game on lock coming out of the backfield and Burkhead was another dangerous option as well.

Michel will have to use the rest of the 2020 season to prove he still deserves a spot on the depth chart. He will likely have a limited number of carries, so he can't afford to choose his spots. He needs to treat every play like it could be his last of the day.

So, the Burkhead injury has some rather major implications for the team. It ensures that Harris will continue to get looks and offers Michel a chance to prove he is not a first-round bust.

Get the latest Patriots news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of the page. Mobile users click the notification bell.