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Damien Harris leads Patriots backfield vs. Chiefs with Sony Michel on I.R.

Damien Harris leading early downs vs. Chiefs

Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots reacts against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

UPDATE: Harris ended up with 17 carries for 100 yards and no targets, while Rex Burkhead had 11 carries for 45 yards and caught one target for five yards. Harris obviously took on the Michel role, as the early down runner with no passing game upside and should continue filling that need in the offense moving forward. His upside will be in non-PPR leagues and will need touchdowns to be an every week start, but he could win the job over Michel if he excels.

Damien Harris came off I.R. this week and was able to quickly move up the depth chart with Sony Michel going on I.R. with a quad injury. That left Rex Burkhead as the probable lead back with James White as the receiving back, but so far Harris has taken over as the lead.

At halftime, Harris has 11 carries for 38 yards, while Rex Burkhead has four carries for 22 yards and neither has a reception. All of the receptions have gone to White, who is the only back to even have a target, as he’s caught 5-of-5 targets for 32 yards and has one carry for six yards.

The snap count is fairly even, as you can see here in Mike Clay’s tweet:

But, the proof is in the touches and so far that’s been Harris and with Michel gone for at least three weeks, it looks like Harris could be the pickup moving forward. We’ll see how things finish up before setting that in stone though.