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Rex Burkhead did not travel back with Patriots, will be evaluated further after knee injury

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead, who suffered a knee injury against Houston Sunday, has six touchdowns this season, three rushing. 
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New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead, who suffered a knee injury against Houston Sunday, has six touchdowns this season, three rushing. Topic: Reporter:Matthew J. Lee/Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The Patriots are still awaiting an update on running back Rex Burkhead, who exited Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans with a serious right knee injury.

Burkhead did not travel home with the team and will be further evaluated upon his return, according to coach Bill Belichick.

“He’ll be coming back soon,” Belichick said Monday afternoon.

Echoing the sentiment of several players, Belichick lauded Burkhead’s readiness and production this season. Not only did the 30-year-old back rush for three touchdowns, and catch three more, he also maintained a regular role in special teams.

“I’ve always had a high appreciation and respect for Rex,” Belichick said. “Rex is a great teammate, works hard, does whatever he’s asked to do, [and] contributes in a lot of different areas.”

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After the game on Sunday, fellow running back James White was nearly brought to tears when asked for his feelings on the situation.

On Monday, center David Andrews was seemingly at a loss for words. Andrews said it was difficult to process the severity of the injury during the game, but the emotions hit him upon seeing Burkhead in the locker room.

“To be honest and transparent, it sucks,” Andrews said. “That’s part of this game. It’s tough. These guys you worked with and played a lot with, it sucks. It’s an unfortunate reality of this game. It’s a violent game. Unfortunately, that happens. Prayers and thoughts with Rex.”

Rex Burkhead tries to get past Houston's Justin Reid during third quarter on Sunday.
Rex Burkhead tries to get past Houston's Justin Reid during third quarter on Sunday.Matthew J. Lee/Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Belichick did not have an update on the status of offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, either. Wynn went down with an injury in the final minutes of Sunday’s game and is expected to undergo testing Monday afternoon.

“We’ll see how that comes out,” Belichick said.

The Patriots are scheduled to return to practice on Wednesday.

Meyers wants to improve one-on-ones

Jakobi Meyers recognized that fighting through double teams is the next step in his development as a wide receiver.

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Against the Texans, Meyers caught all three of his targets for 38 yards, the quietest stat line since his playing time dramatically increased in Week 7. As Newton’s most popular receiver — he accounted for 41.2 percent of the team’s targets in Weeks 9 and 10 — Meyers noted he empathizes with veteran Julian Edelman.

“To be in his shoes and kind of understand what he goes through, I see that I have to be better myself,” Meyers said. “I have to be able to win my one-on-ones regardless. When Jules comes back, if he doesn’t come back, I’m not sure what the situation is, I have to be able to win my one-on-ones at all times and be a guy they can count on.”

Edelman, when healthy, is clearly New England’s No. 1 receiver. But he has missed the past four games after being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and has not yet been activated to the 53-man roster.

Jakobi Meyers looks for separation Sunday against the Texans.
Jakobi Meyers looks for separation Sunday against the Texans.Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

In order to fill a similar role, Meyers acknowledged he needs to be able to create separation now that defenses have started to account for his ability.

“I have to present myself as a threat at all times,” he said.

While sidelined, Edelman still has helped with that process. During the team’s film session on Monday, for example, Meyers said Edelman pointed out how he could improve one of his releases.

“Every day Jules comes in and if he sees something, he’s going to automatically tell me,” Meyers said. “He’s definitely been the ultimate vet for me, helping me with little things to better myself.”

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Moving on

Two former Patriots are off to new teams. The Texans claimed guard Hjalte Froholdt off waivers, and the Los Angeles Rams claimed defensive end Derek Rivers. Both players were released by the Patriots last week and were eligible to return to the practice squad if they had gone unclaimed. Froholdt, a 2019 fourth-round draft pick, and Rivers, a 2017 third-round draft pick, added depth but saw the field sparingly in New England.

Hayden Bird of the Boston.com staff contributed to this report.


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.