N'Keal Harry Will Be Welcomed Back to Patriots Practice with Open Arms, Hopeful Hearts
This week not only gives the New England Patriots extended rest before they take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, but it also brings upon the first opportunity for Patriots' first round pick N'Keal Harry to practice after heading to injured reserve earlier in the season because of an ankle injury.
As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said on Monday, Harry is indeed expected to return to practice this week. Bill Belichick said on Monday morning that Harry would return if he is healthy enough.
Harry's return is ideal. Over the past couple weeks the Patriots offense has struggled to consistently move the chains and score points because of injuries, play calling and overall poor execution.
With Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman, New England's top receivers, dealing with their fair share of injuries over the past six weeks, the Patriots need a young, healthy and talented receiver to spice up a passing game that hasn't had many highlight-worthy plays over the first six weeks of regular season football.
The expectation shouldn't be a full workload when Harry takes the field in Week 9, however, which is when he is eligible to be activated from IR. Bill Belichick's plan all along has been to ease the rookie receiver into the offense at a steady pace. Keeping Harry healthy and confident is the No. 1 priority in terms of his development.
We may not see Tom Brady look his way too often in the near future, especially is he has a limited snap count. But when Harry does finally gain the trust of his 42 year old QB - get ready for the fireworks.