New England Patriots

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel runs a drill during practice at Gillette stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are about to give Sony Michel a chance to show what he can do. According to Adam Schefter, the rookie running back is expected to make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Michel was limited in practice leading up to the game, and is listed as “Questionable”. The 31st overall pick in the 2018 draft has been recovering from a knee issue that cropped up in early August. He underwent a clean-up procedure that was considered relatively minor at the time.

The rookie’s availability took on added importance this week with the status of Rex Burkhead, who is dealing with a concussion. He’s also Questionable, but was upgraded to a limited participant in Friday’s practice. Schefter says Burkhead is also expected to play, but will need to make it through pre-game warmups without setbacks.

Michel hasn’t dealt with much contact in the wake of his knee injury, but he’s at least been practicing with the team after being mostly absent in training camp. It’s possible that the Patriots give him at least a handful of touches against the Jags to see if he can emerge as a weapon in the Patriots backfield in his first NFL action.

It’s also possible that, if Burkhead ends up playing, Michel doesn’t see a ton of snaps. At least not in high-leverage situations. But the Pats certainly didn’t draft him in the first round to make him a backup. He has bell cow potential, and Sunday sounds like the first glimpse of the rookie’s possible game-changing talent.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at

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