New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 04: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Alex Barth,

After missing the last six games, Sony Michel is set to make his return with the Patriots.

The team activated Michel off of IR on Saturday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Michel has begun practicing two weeks ago, and had to be activated by this upcoming Thursday or he would have been lost for the season.

Before a quad injury sidelined him, Michel had run for 173 yards on 26 carries this season. In his last game before being put on IR, Michel had 117 yards on nine carries, including runs of 48 and 38 yards.

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In his absence, second-year back Damien Harris has slid into the leading running back role, and ran for a career high 121 yards against the Ravens last week. How the Patriots distribute the running back workload this week will be a top storyline, assuming Michel is healthy enough to play against Houston’s 32nd ranked run defense. Rapoport called Michel’s activation “a sign Michel will play” against the Texans.

To make room for Michel on the roster, the Patriots waived guard Hjalte Froholdt. The 2019 fourth-round pick has played in eight games for the Patriots this season, mostly in a special teams-specific role. He could end up back with the team on the practice squad next week. In addition, the team released defensive end Derek Rivers, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

For more on this Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and Texans, check out the Patriots Preview Podcast below.

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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