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Patriots running back Damien Harris exits game against Texans with rib injury

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris left the game early with a rib injury on Sunday.Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

HOUSTON — Patriots running back Damien Harris exited Sunday’s game against the Texans with a rib injury and did not return.

Late in the fourth quarter, Harris rushed for 8 yards to New England’s 45-yard line, but part of the run was called back because of a holding penalty on wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. As the Patriots moved back to their 41-yard line, Harris remained on the ground.

Multiple team staffers ran onto the field to tend to Harris, who stayed hunched before turning over on his back, where he remained for several moments, as fellow running back Brandon Bolden knelt in support close by.


Other Patriots, including quarterback Mac Jones, center David Andrews, and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy also came over to check on Harris.

Harris was able to slowly walk off the field with the assistance of trainers and immediately went the locker room. He appeared to be favoring his right side.

Earlier in the game, Harris visited the blue medical tent and was considered questionable with a chest injury, though he returned. He finished with 58 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a wildcat touchdown and a fumble as he was crossing the goal line for a potential second score.

In and out

In addition to Harris, defense tackle Carl Davis left the game for stretch with a knee injury, but he returned … Kyle Van Noy left to the locker room before halftime but was back for the second half, so it may have been an equipment issue … Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil left in the first half with a hand injury and did not return … The Texans backup quarterback was Jeff Driskel, who was selected by the Red Sox as a pitcher in the 29th round of the 2013 draft. He signed a contract but never ended up playing.


Finally, a win in Houston

The Patriots hadn’t beaten the Texans in Houston since 2015. They did win Super Bowl LI here in 2016 and it appeared as though all the confetti is now gone. For context, when the Patriots showed up for a preseason game in the summer of 2016, there was still confetti to be found … Jake Bailey punted just one time — of course it was a 58-yarder … Gunner Olszewski returned kickoffs for the first time this season and had three for 65 yards. Those duties had been handled by Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor, but with Bolden taking a bigger role on offense and Taylor inactive, Olszewski got the call in his home state … Davis Mills joined Russell Wilson as the only rookie QBs to throw three TDs against Belichick’s Patriots defenses … Houston’s first scoring drive went 18 plays, its longest in 10 years … A Texans fan wearing a Deshaun Watson (currently persona non grata in these parts) ran on to the field and, while drinking a beer, tried to get the crowd — which was sparse and lethargic — going in one end zone. He was out there for close to a minute before security noticed. He made a mad dash (Lambeau leap style) but was apprehended before he could get away … The national anthem was sung by Christina Wells and the registered nurse and “America’s Got Talent” semifinalist was phenomenal.

Jim McBride of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


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