Damien Harris suffered a hamstring injury in Week 13 in the Patriots’ first game against the Buffalo Bills. Is Harris playing tonight when New England faces Buffalo in the Wild Card round?
Update 01/15/22: The Patriots announced that Damien Harris is active and will play against the Bills. For the rest of the Patriots’ inactives, make sure to check out our Wild Card Round Inactives.
Is Damien Harris playing tonight vs. the Bills?
Harris is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s game. He was limited in practice all week. However, Harris faced the same restrictions last week and still played. He has been dealing with this hamstring issue for weeks, yet he’s been active on game day each time so far.
While we don’t have official word, I expect to see Harris active once the Patriots submit their final reports.
How has Harris performed so far this season?
Harris had a career year in 2021. His role has grown following a season-ending hip injury to James White early in the season. As a result, Harris has been taking more carries this year than in his prior two campaigns. He posted 929 yards and 15 touchdowns. on 202 attempts
Harris is the beneficiary of a strong Patriots offensive line. But he’s been excellent on his own accord all season long. Paired with Rhamondre Stevenson, Harris has given opponents trouble — including the Bills.
In the Wind Bowl against Buffalo in Week 13, Harris put up 10 carries for 111 yards a touchdown before exiting with an injury. Facing the Bills again in Week 16, Harris managed 103 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns in a defeat.
What if Harris can’t go?
Harris’ experience against the Bills’ defense could be critical to the Patriots effectively running the ball. But if he can’t go, New England has faith in their rookie RB.
Stevenson had a breakout game in Week 1 of the preseason (127 yards, 2 TDs) and has not stopped working since. The fourth-round pick is now considered the No. 2 back on New England’s roster. He had 133 carries for 606 yards and 5 touchdowns in the regular season and has become popular among fans for his hard-nosed running style.
The Patriots are fortunate to have a good selection of RBs that they can rely on, as pass-catching back Brandon Bolden has also contributed this year.