Bill Belichick reflects on N’Keal Harry’s time with the Patriots
October 19th, 2022
When the Patriots host the Bears for Monday Night Football this week at Gillette Stadium, there will likely be a familiar face on the opposing sideline. This past offseason, the Patriots traded 2019 first-round pick wide receiver N’Keal Harry to Chicago in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick.
Harry has yet to play in a game for the Bears – he suffered a high-ankle sprain midway through training camp that saw him start the season on IR. However, Harry has since been activated, but didn’t dress for Chicago’s game last week against Washington. That game was on Thursday night, so with extra time to prepare, it seems possible Harry could make his Bears debut against his former team. On Monday, Bill Belichick was asked about what he expects to see if and when Harry is on the field for the Bears.
“Big, talented kid,” Belichick said of Harry. “I’m sure he’ll be ready to go. I’m sure he’ll play hard.”
Belichick also reflected on Harry’s time in New England, which was tenuous especially given where he was selected. Drafted following the departure of Rob Gronkowski, Harry was viewed as the bridge to the next generation of Patriots pass catchers. However, he struggled to stay on the field as a fought through injuries, and made a limited impact when he did play.
“Things didn’t really work out here the way that I think all of us hoped for,” Belichick noted. “Everybody tried, it just didn’t work out.”
If Harry does, he’ll be the seventh former Belichick first-round pick to play a game against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Tight end Daniel Graham was the first to do so in 2008 while with the Denver Broncos, followed by tight end Ben Watson (2013, Saints), defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (2016 regular season and playoffs, Texans), defensive lineman Dominique Easley (2016, Rams), offensive tackle Nate Solder (2019, Giants) and defensive lineman Malcolm Brown (2021, Jaguars). The Patriots are 7-0 in those games, winning by an average score of 35-12.
Given Harry hasn’t been active yet this season, it’s tough to project what role – if any – he’ll have in Chicago’s offense. The Bears could use a boost – they currently have the 29th-ranked passing game in the NFL. Will he provide that against the Patriots? We’ll find out Monday.
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 @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.