Damien Harris

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

Damien Harris News

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 ESPN.com 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 NESN.com 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 ESPN.com 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 NESN.com 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 ESPN.com 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 ESPN.com 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 NESN.com 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


Racks up 95 scrimmage yards

Harris carried 16 times for 80 yards and caught his only target for 15 additional yards during Sunday's 45-0 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Harris averaged a healthy 5.0 yards per carry and added his longest reception of the season, though it went for modest yardage. He finished with his third-highest allotment of touches in a game this season but could've easily had more if Cam Newton and Sony Michel didn't combine for 24 carries. Harris seems entrenched in an early-down role and has been quite effective on a per-touch basis, but should continue to share the load to some degree in Thursday's matchup with the Rams.

Dec 6, 2020 6:31 PM EST


Leading rusher in Week 12 win

Harris rushed 14 times for 47 yards and wasn't targeted in the passing game in Sunday's 20-17 win over Arizona.

Analysis: Harris got almost half of the team's 30 rushing attempts, but it was James White who scored both of New England's touchdowns on the ground. While Harris has established himself as New England's top option on the ground, the team's plethora of short-yardage rushing options -- highlighted by quarterback Cam Newton (nine rushing touchdowns) -- and Harris' lack of involvement in the passing game continue to put a damper on the 2019 third-round pick's production.

Nov 29, 2020 2:45 PM EST


Joined by Michel in Week 12 backfield

The Patriots' Week 12 backfield will consist of Harris, James White and Sony Michel, Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports.

Analysis: Michel's return to action from a quad injury bolsters the Patriots' running back corps, with Rex Burkhead (knee) now on IR. Given that Harris ran well in Michel's absence, the 2019 third-rounder figures to continue to head the team's ground game Sunday, barring any injury setbacks, while Michel works in a complementary role and James White handles change-of-pace duties. Harris isn't really much of a factor in New England's passing game, so his fantasy utility continues to be dictated by his carry volume, game-flow and his usage around the goal line.

Nov 29, 2020 8:51 AM EST


Finds end zone as leading rusher

Harris (chest/ankle) rushed 11 times for 43 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-20 loss to Houston. He added an 11-yard catch on two targets.

Analysis: Harris got the scoring started with a nine-yard rushing touchdown and finished with team highs in carries and rushing yards. He has been entrusted with 10-plus carries in five consecutive games, totaling 395 rushing yards on 73 carries (5.4 YPC) over that stretch. Harris has been a non-factor in the passing game, though, with just three catches all season. Sony Michel's (quad) impending return could cut into Harris' rushing workload in Week 12 against Arizona and beyond, though that drop could be offset somewhat by the expected absence of Rex Burkhead (knee), who was carted off in this one, per Darren Hartwell of Yahoo Sports.

Nov 22, 2020 1:51 PM EST


Suits up Sunday

Harris (chest/ankle) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Texans.

Analysis: Assuming no in-game setbacks, Harris, who carried 22 times for 121 yards in the Patriots' Week 10 win over the Ravens, should continue to lead New England's backfield, which also includes Rex Burkhead and James White, with Sony Michel (quadriceps) inactive. Though Harris isn't really a factor in the passing game, he should see his share of touches Sunday, as New England seems likely run plenty versus a defense that ranks last in the league in both rushing yards allowed per game (167.4) and average yards allowed per carry (5.2).

Nov 22, 2020 8:38 AM EST


Expected to play

Harris (chest/ankle) is expected to play Sunday against the Texans, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Harris' status will be confirmed prior to the first wave of games Sunday, with the Patriots kicking off at 1:00 ET. Assuming he suits up, the 2019 third-rounder -- who carried 22 times for 121 yards in the team's Week 10 win over the Ravens -- should continue to head New England's backfield (which also includes Rex Burkhead and James White), in the absence of any in-game setbacks. The potential reintroduction of Sony Michel (quad) to the mix may well cut into Harris' volume some, but working in the favor of all the team's backs is that Houston's defense has struggled against the run this season.

Nov 22, 2020 4:20 AM EST


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