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Report: Damien Harris dealing with pinky finger injury that could impact Week 1 availability

The Patriots could be forced to rely on Sony Michel even more with Damien Harris potentially unavailable due to a pinky finger issue.

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

The New England Patriots could be without Damien Harris in Week 1 as the running back rehabs an injury to his pinky finger. Harris has missed at least two practices that threatens his availability, according to reporter Mike Reiss. Harris had surgery on his pinky finger, according to Ian Rapoport, “and it’ll take a few weeks to heal.”

Sony Michel is the Patriots lead back, but Harris is expected to split time with him once he’s healthy. The team added Lamar Miller recently and activated him off the PUP list this week. James White and Rex Burkhead are bigger factors in the passing game, but depending on how Miller looks, both could end up with more work in the ground game.

The Patriots spent a third round pick on Harris in 2019, but he only got rushing work in two games. However, the Patriots coaches have been enthusiastic about Harris’ camp, according to Reiss.

“Damien has had a really good camp,” coach Bill Belichick said this week on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “He came to camp in very good condition. He’s taken a lot of reps. He’s handled everything in the running game and passing game very well, which he did last year. I think everybody had a lot of confidence in him but they’ve all gained a lot more in him just because of his consistency and dependability.”

This does not sound like a long-term concern, so there could be some value for you late in your draft. Harris is currently the 59th running back in ADP, but don’t sleep on him. In basic re-draft leagues, you can get him late in the draft and he could be a valuable handcuff if you also draft Sony Michel.