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Damien Harris

New England Patriots
Running Back #34
New England Patriots
Running Back #34
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Damien Harris News

Reaches 100 yards

Harris carried the ball 23 times for 100 yards in Sunday's Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. He added two receptions for 17 yards.

Analysis: Harris dominated the Patriots' backfield, accounting for 23 of the team's 30 rushing attempts. He largely handled the duties well, as he picked up 35 yards on the game's first play from scrimmage and also chipped in a chunk gain of 11 yards later in the contest. While the stat sheet reflects a relatively positive opening game for Harris, his box score production could be overshadowed by a fumble late in the fourth quarter that came deep in Dolphins' territory and cost the Patriots a chance to win the game. That miscue could cost Harris work heading into a Week 2 matchup against the Jets, though the team lacks a proven option that is capable of serving a similar role.

Sep 12, 2021 6:06 PM EST

Michel trade paves way for more work

With Sony Michel having been traded to the Rams, Harris has a chance to be the "dominant back on running downs" in New England's offense, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Meanwhile, James White remains entrenched as the team's top pass-catching/change-of-pace option, with power back Rhamondre Stevenson poised to serve as a complement/backup to Harris when it comes to early-down work, and 5-foot-6, 185-pound J.J. Taylor -- who's shown flashes of playmaking ability this summer -- now in a better position to maintain his roster spot as well as mix into the offense. Though Stevenson has been impressive during the preseason, the Patriots have in the past tended to ease rookie backs into the mix, so with Michel -- who had been in line to see his share of touches in tandem with Harris -- having been moved, added opportunities are now available for Harris in what could be a run-heavy attack, regardless of who ends up as the team's starting QB this coming season.

Aug 25, 2021 8:25 AM EST

Eight snaps Thursday

Harris logged eight snaps on offense in Thursday's 35-0 preseason win over the Eagles, NESN's Zack Cox reports.

Analysis: It's not a surprise that Harris -- the Patriots' presumed top back -- and pass-catching ace James White (five snaps) saw limited touches Thursday, given their solid roster standing. In that context, Sony Michel, Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor logged the bulk of rushing opportunities versus the Eagles, as they jostle for slotting on the team's depth chart. While Harris continues to profile as the New England back to target earliest in fantasy drafts, the team's deep backfield could lead to a regular-season scenario in which Harris' week-to-week workload varies due to game flow and opponent-specific game scripts.

Aug 20, 2021 9:59 AM EST

Finds end zone Thursday

Harris rushed six times for 14 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 35-0 preseason win over the Eagles on Thursday night.

Analysis: Harris turned in an inefficient performance from a yards-per-carry perspective, but he did cash in with a five-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter following an Eagles turnover. The third-year back wasn't targeted for the second straight exhibition Thursday, and Harris also saw rookie fourth-round pick Rhamondre Stevenson thrive again with another pair of rushing touchdowns. Therefore, the exact pecking order in New England's backfield may be in flux heading into the Sunday, Aug. 29 preseason finale against the Giants, considering Sony Michel is naturally also in the mix.

Aug 19, 2021 8:01 PM EST

Starts preseason opener

Harris rushed four times for 17 yards and wasn't targeted in Thursday's 22-13 preseason win over Washington.

Analysis: Harris got the start and was the only Patriot to register a rushing attempt on the team's first two drives. He also had an 11-yard run down to Washington's three-yard line called back on a holding penalty on New England's second drive, which ultimately ended in a field goal. The Patriots have plenty of running backs on hand, including receiving specialist James White, 2018 first-round pick Sony Michel, and rookie fourth-rounder Rhamondre Stevenson -- who scored two touchdowns in this one -- but Harris remains the leading man in the team's crowded backfield. Harris should start again in Week 2 of preseason against the Eagles.

Aug 12, 2021 8:12 PM EST

Favored to lead backfield's Zack Cox views Harris as the clear favorite to serve as the Patriots' No. 1 back this coming season.

Analysis: While coach Bill Belichick isn't normally the type to detail player's projected roles, he did note that the third-year back is someone "that improved a lot from Year 1 to Year 2," while acknowledging that the 2019 third-rounder "has an opportunity to compete for a lead spot, and he's embraced that." Also in the Patriots' backfield mix are Sony Michel, James White, Rhamondre Stevenson, Brandon Bolden, J.J. Taylor and Tyler Gaffney. For now, Michel profiles as Harris' main competition for early-down work, while White retains his change-of-pace role in the New England offense. Down the road, Stevenson -- who began camp on the active/NFI list -- has a chance to compete for complementary touches, but at this stage Harris looks like the best bet fantasy-wise among the team's running backs.

Jul 29, 2021 12:59 PM EST

Heads backfield along with Michel

As the 2021 season approaches, Harris and Sony Michel are poised to head the Patriots' backfield, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Also in the mix are pass-catching back James White and fourth-round draft pick Rhamondre Stevenson, while Brandon Boldenand J.J. Taylor provide depth. From a fantasy perspective, Harris -- who finished 2020 with 137 carries for 691 yards (5.0 YPC) and two TDs, to go along with five catches for 52 yards in 10 games, profiles as the team's top option, but his minimal impact in the passing game hampers his utility in PPR formats. With Michel and quite possibly Stevenson also in the early-down equation, Harris' week-to-week volume may fluctuate in 2021, with injuries and opponent-based game scripts also likely to emerge as important factors in determining how many touches he logs as the season rolls along.

May 5, 2021 9:45 AM EST

Moves to injured reserve

Harris (ankle) was placed on injured reserve Saturday, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: The 23-year-old was previously ruled out for Sunday's season finale against the Jets, so this is simply a procedural move to free up a roster spot for the Patriots. Harris spent the first three weeks of the season on injured reserve, but he took over the lead role in the backfield Week 4 and finished 2020 with 137 carries for 691 yards (5.0 YPC) and two touchdowns while catching five passes for 52 yards in 10 games.

Jan 2, 2021 3:35 PM EST

Out for season finale

Harris (ankle) won't play in Sunday's season finale against the Jets.

Analysis: With Harris set miss his third straight game, Sony Michel, James White and J.J. Taylor will continue to handle the team's backfield duties Sunday. Harris finishes his second season as a pro with 137 carries for 691 yards and two TDs to go along with five catches for 52 yards in 10 games. While Harris' limited involved in the Patriots' pass game hampered his fantasy upside this year, the 2019 third-rounder's respectable average of 5.0 yards per carry was indicative of his effectiveness as a runner. Looking ahead to the 2021 campaign, Harris will be in line to head New England's backfield once again, but at the same time look for plenty of offseason changes to alter the composition of the team's offense.

Jan 1, 2021 1:53 PM EST

Not seen at practice Friday

Harris (ankle) wasn't spotted during the media portion of Friday's practice, Zack Cox of reports.

Analysis: The 23-year-old was a limited participant at practice Wednesday, but his potential absence at Friday's session after missing the past two games is an ominous sign for his Week 17 availability. Sony Michel, James White and J.J. Taylor will again handle backfield duties if Harris is ruled out.

Jan 1, 2021 9:05 AM EST

Remains limited at practice

Harris (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Seven New England players missed practice Wednesday, while Harris was among the 13 listed as limited. Given that he's missed two straight games, however, the running back is no lock to return to action for Sunday's season finale against the Jets. If Harris remains sidelined this weekend, Sony Michel, James White and J.J. Taylor would continue to handle the team's backfield duties in Week 17.

Dec 30, 2020 3:30 PM EST

Inactive for MNF

Harris (ankle) is inactive for Monday night's game against the Bills.

Analysis: With Harris -- who was also inactive in Week 15 -- still sidelined, Sony Michel will continue to head the Patriots' Week 16 backfield, with James White set to handle pass-catching/change-of-pace work and J.J. Taylor on hand in reserve.

Dec 28, 2020 3:51 PM EST

Status in question for Monday

Harris (ankle) is listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Bills, Doug Kyed of reports.

Analysis: Harris logged a pair of limited sessions last week before he was eventually ruled out for last Sunday's contest at Miami. His ankle issue lingered into this week, capping his practice reps yet again Thursday through Saturday. There's a chance Harris' status comes down to a game-time decision, which is precarious for fantasy purposes with a Monday night battle on tap. If Harris doesn't suit up Week 16, the Patriots will lean on Sony Michel out of the backfield, with James White handling pass-catching work and J.J. Taylor (quadriceps, questionable) potentially available.

Dec 26, 2020 1:14 PM EST

Still limited at practice

Harris (ankle) remained listed as a limited practice participant Friday.

Analysis: The same applies to 19 of Harris' teammates, the bulk of whom figure to end up officially listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Bills. That he's logged back-to-back limited sessions after missing this past Sunday's loss to Miami, could be interpreted as a positive sign, but until added context is provided (perhaps by national reporters such as Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport this weekend), Harris' Week 16 status will remain cloudy. If he's unable to go Monday, Sony Michel would be in line to continue to head the Patriots' backfield, with James White on hand for change-of-pace duties and J.J. Taylor (quadriceps) in reserve.

Dec 25, 2020 12:25 PM EST

Logs limited practice

Harris (ankle) was limited at practice Thursday, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Harris was one of 20 players listed as questionable by the Patriots Thursday, but of that group he's one whose Week 16 status is indeed cloudy, given that the running back was inactive this past Sunday against the Dolphins. If Harris isn't cleared for Monday night's game against the Bills, Sony Michel would be in line to continue to head New England's backfield, with James White on hand for change-of-pace duties and J.J. Taylor (quadriceps) in reserve.

Dec 24, 2020 3:02 PM EST

Officially ruled out

Harris (ankle) was downgraded from questionable and will not play Sunday against the Dolphins.

Analysis: The news means Sony Michel will step back into the starting lineup as the primary two-down back, with James White (foot) mixing in as a pass catcher and J.J. Taylor (quadriceps) operating as the spellback in both situations. Harris, who popped up on the injury report Thursday with an ankle injury after missing time the previous week with a back issue, will aim for a return in Week 16 against the Bills.

Dec 19, 2020 9:57 AM EST

Listed as questionable for Week 15

Harris (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday's road game against the Dolphins after being limited at practice both Thursday and Friday.

Analysis: Harris -- who was added to the injury report Thursday -- and fellow running back James White (foot) are among the 14 New England players listed as questionable this week, though added context with regard to who's in/who's out should arrive once it's announced which players won't travel with the team to Miami. At this point, we'd be surprised if Harris didn't play this weekend, but if he's out or limited at all Sunday, Sony Michel would be in line to see added touches in Week 15.

Dec 18, 2020 12:15 PM EST

Back on injury report

Harris was added to the Patriots' Week 15 injury report after logging a limited practice Thursday, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: It remains to be seen if Harris' listed limitations are the result of an in-practice setback, or simply a case of the running back managing a minor ankle issue, but either way he's one of 13 New England players who were classified as limited Thursday. If Harris is out or limited Sunday against the Dolphins, Sony Michel would be in line to see added touches out of the team's Week 15 backfield.

Dec 17, 2020 1:17 PM EST

No restrictions at practice

Harris (back) was a full participant at Wednesday's practice, Zack Cox of reports.

Analysis: Harris exited last Thursday's loss to the Rams early due to a back issue, but it looks as though he's already returned to full form. The second-year pro has handled double-digit carries in eight straight games, though he only has two scores across that span. He looks set to handle his usual workload in Miami on Sunday.

Dec 16, 2020 2:24 PM EST

Suffers back injury

Harris (back) was forced out of Thursday's game against the Rams with a back injury.

Analysis: Harris suffered a back injury while picking up a blitz early in the fourth quarter. He totaled 50 yards on 11 carries before his departure. James White and Sony Michel will handle the backfield reps in Harris' stead. If Harris doesn't return, he'll have 10 days to recover before a Week 15 bout against Miami.

Dec 10, 2020 7:54 PM EST

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