The Patriots will be without running back Damien Harris for Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced Friday afternoon. Harris, who suffered a hamstring injury in the Patriots’ Week 13 win over the Buffalo Bills, was limited at practice all week, and listed as questionable on Thursday’s injury report.
This will be the first game Harris misses this season. He’s been the Patriots’ leading rusher so far this season, with 754 yards and nine touchdowns on 164 carries. Over the last eight games, he’s totaled eight touchdowns.
Without Harris, the Patriots will likely give a bigger role to rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson has emerged over the last six weeks after spending most of the early part of the season as a healthy scratch. Since Week 8, he’s rushed for 381 yards on 83 carries. He’s also caught 8 passes for 69 yards.
With Stevenson stepping into the primary running back role, Brandon Bolden could also see an expended workload. Beyond Bolden the Patriots only have one other back they can turn to in Devine Ozigbo, who they could elevate from the practice squad. Ozigbo was signed on Nov. 30 and has yet to appear in a game with the Patriots. Second-year back J.J. Taylor remains on COVID-reserve and hasn’t practiced in three weeks.
In addition to Harris, the Patriots also ruled out offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste. Cajuste didn’t practice Tuesday or Wednesday, then was limited Thursday due to an illness and listed as questionable. Cajuste has been used as a reserve tackle at times this year, but hasn’t been active since the Week 10 win over the Browns.
With Harris and Cajuste out, the Patriots have seven players who were listed as questionable on Thursday who are still eligible to play on Saturday. They are Brandon Bolden (knee), center David Andrews (shoulder), tackle Trent Brown (calf/wrist), defensive lineman Christian Barmore (knee), linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs), safety Adrian Phillips (knee) and kicker Nick Folk (left knee).
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.