New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: N'Keal Harry #15 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry will be considered week-to-week after dodging a major injury in Thursday night’s victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“Tests showed that Patriots’ wide receiver N’Keal Harry had no structural damage to his shoulder and he simply will need rest, per source,” Schefter tweeted Friday evening. “Harry now will be week to week.”

Going all out for a Mac Jones deep ball in the final minute of the first half, Harry landed hard on his left shoulder, and while he slowly got to his feet and walked off under his power, the injury spelled the end of Harry’s night, and the third-year pro was spotted after the game with his arm in a sling.

The good news for Harry, of course, is that he’s avoided some sort of season-ending injury.

But the bad news is that his week-to-week status likely means that his preseason is over, and that he could be in a strange spot when it comes to his standing with the Patriots for the 2021 season.

After requesting a trade out of Foxborough earlier this year, Harry has been a camp standout by all accounts, but has translated that to just two catches (three years) and 23 yards in preseason action. That doesn’t exactly make him a lock for the roster given the competition at the position and at the skill positions in general.

Should the Patriots choose to put the 6-foot-4 Harry on the injured reserve now, it would make him ineligible for the 2021 season. With this being a week-to-week injury, that would seem unlikely. But if Harry cracks New England’s final 53-man roster out of the preseason, the Patriots could place him on the injured reserve with a designation to return later in the year, and likely with a handshake agreement involving the player who would be cut on the roster cutdown’s final day.

If the latter process rings a bell, it’s because the Patriots did exactly that with veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas at the conclusion of the 2019 preseason.

It was back then — and after a strong preseason finale from Thomas — that they released Thomas as part of the team’s final cutdowns. But Bill Belichick and the Patriots brought him back to town as soon as they placed Harry, who injured his ankle in the preseason, on the injured reserve after making the initial 53-man roster so he could return when healthy.

But letting that player leave always opens the door for another team to potentially swoop in with a better offer, better role, or better [insert anything here], so it’s not without risk.

The No. 32 overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, Harry has totaled 45 catches on 81 targets for 414 yards and four touchdowns in 21 games over his first two NFL seasons.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.