New England Patriots

Damien Harris carries the ball at Patriots training camp. (Photo courtesy New England Patriots)

By Alex Barth,

The Patriots have placed second year running back Damien Harris on IR, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. In a corresponding move, the team signed UDFA running back J.J. Taylor from the practice squad.

Harris broke his pinky finger during practice last week, and hasn’t been on the field since. It’s been reported that he needed surgery on the finger, with an expected recovery time of about a month.

The good news for the Patriots is that’s a realistic time frame for IR with the new rules. In the past, players couldn’t be activated for at least six weeks, that number has since been cut in half to three. Plus, teams are allowed to return an unlimited number of players from IR this year, last year they were limited to just two.

MORE: Previewing the Patriots 2020 roster

To fill Harris’ roster spot, the team called up UDFA running back J.J. Taylor. During training camp, running back coach Ivan Fears referred to the 5-foot-5 Taylor as a “little Dion” Lewis.

With the signing, the Patriots extend their streak of having an undrafted rookie make the Week 1 roster to an NFL-best 17 straight years.

These were the second two moves made by the Patriots on Monday, following the signing of rookie linebacker Cassh Maluia and IR placement of defensive tackle Beau Allen.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at