CHICAGO – The Patriots dodged a big hit, as running back Sony Michel did not suffer a major knee injury during Sunday’s 38-31 win over the Bears.
Michel underwent an MRI Monday that found no structural damage, and, according to a league source, the rookie’s injury “doesn’t appear to be season-ending.”
It’s welcome news for a team that already has lost tailbacks Jeremy Hill (torn ACL) and Rex Burkhead (neck) to injured reserve.
Michel will be evaluated and monitored this week, and although he could miss some time, it isn’t expected to be a significant stretch.
Michel has been productive the last three weeks and was off to a good start against the Bears, collecting 35 yards on five touches before being hurt.
Early in the second quarter, his right knee twisted awkwardly as he was being tackled by Bilal Nichols, who was credited with a forced fumble on the play.
James White (11 carries, 40 yards) and Kenjon Barner (10 carries, 36 yards) filled in after Michel went down.
If Michel has to miss a game or two, the Patriots could look to add a back. Mike Gillislee, who was cut by the Patriots this summer, and veteran C.J. Anderson are available free agents. Another name to watch is Ameer Abdullah, who is languishing on the Lions bench and could be available via trade.
The Patriots have not had good luck with their 2018 draft class.
Only Michel, defensive back Keion Crossen, and third-string quarterback Danny Etling have avoided the injured reserve list.
Guard Isaiah Wynn, a first-round pick (No. 23), is out for the season with an Achilles’ injury. Second-round pick Duke Dawson, a defensive back, has a hamstring injury. Fifth-round pick Ja’Whaun Bentley, who showed flashes at linebacker, is out with a torn right biceps, according to ESPN. Wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a sixth-round pick, is out with an undisclosed injury. Another sixth-round pick, linebacker Christian Sam, also has an undisclosed injury. And seventh-rounder Ryan Izzo (ankle), a tight end, rounds out a hobbled group.
Jim McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.