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Rams HC Sean McVay said Monday that RB Sony Michel is on track to play against the Bears this weekend -- although McVay stopped short of guaranteeing that Michel will suit up for that one. The former Patriots has been in Los Angeles for just a couple of weeks, so don't expect an extensive role in the opener. But Michel's presence adds downside for RB Darrell Henderson.

Rams HC Sean McVay talked about his new-look backfield of Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel on Thursday. “Wanted to make sure that we got somebody else that’s played in big-time games," McVay said of Michel, per NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano. “The goal is to get him ready to go and have him a big-time contributor on the 12th (Week 1)." Of Henderson, McVay said, "Darrell’s still going to have a very big role. Doesn’t really change the outlook for him." We at least expect Henderson to open the season as Los Angeles' lead back. But it could be a fluid situation.

Appearing on SiriusXM radio this morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter said Sony Michel will "probably be the lead back" in Los Angeles. It sounded like much more opinion than report -- but Schefter is obviously 1 of the most plugged-in reporters in the industry. Although he's struggled with injuries through 3 NFL seasons, it's worth remembering that Michel was the 31st overall pick of the 2018 draft. He's still only 26 years old. And he averaged 5.7 yards on 79 carries last year, ranking 26th among 76 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades. RB Darrell Henderson, by the way, finished 17th on that list. We'll be keeping a close eye on this backfield over the next couple of weeks. But, for now, both Henderson and Michel look like risk/reward RB3 targets in fantasy drafts.

The Patriots traded RB Sony Michel to the Rams in exchange for a pair of late-round conditional picks, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The Rams always seemed likely to add to the backfield after losing Cam Akers for the season. Even if they believe in RB Darrell Henderson, the depth behind him wasn't NFL-caliber. Henderson still figures to get the 1st crack at lead duties in Los Angeles. But expect Michel to be involved, potentially serving as a short-yardage and goal-line back. Michel ripped off 5.7 yards per carry last year and has looked good this preseason. Rams RBs Xavier Jones and Jake Funk are obviously undraftable now. Meanwhile in New England, Damien Harris is now even safer as the clear lead ball-carrier -- although he'll continue to lose almost all the passing-down work to James White. Michel's departure also makes rookie Rhamondre Stevenson a more interesting late-round flier.

Plenty has been made of Patriots RB performances this preseason, especially after 3 of them combined to rush for 4 TDs Thursday night against the Eagles. Rhamondre Stevenson contributed 2 of those, marking his 2nd straight 2-TD outing. But it's been Damien Harris dominating the work with QB Cam Newton. Among 29 snaps that Newton has played through 2 games, Harris has been on the field for 16. James White has played 9 of them, with Sony Michel in for 4. So all of Stevenson's work has come with reserves. According to Establish The Run's Adam Levitan, White has been on the field for the only 3 third-down snaps with Newton. Stevenson will bear watching, but Harris' role doesn't appear to be under seige. And keep White in mind as a late PPR option in fantasy football drafts.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe believes Sony Michel is currently the "1B" to Damien Harris' "1A" in the Patriots backfield. Howe writes that both guys have "had the best training camp of their careers, thanks to performance and availability." That's a pleasant surprise regarding Michel considering most have written him off. Harris remains the favorite to lead New England in carries this season -- but his fantasy stock would take a significant hit if Michel is heavily involved. It's a situation to monitor in preseason action.

Patriots HC Bill Belichick said last week that he’s been “impressed by the commitment” shown by RB Damien Harris. Belichick also said that Harris has “embraced” the competition for a “lead spot” in the backfield. Harris should be safely ahead of Sony Michel and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, who recently came off the non-football injury list. An RB2 finish for the 24-year-old Harris is certainly within his range of outcomes.

Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson has been placed on the non-football injury list. We don't have any other details, but ESPN's Mike Reiss notes that the rookie dealt with "a couple nagging things" this spring. We'll see when Stevenson is able to get back on the field. He figures to be battling RB Sony Michel for the backup job behind RB Damien Harris.

Patriots RB Damien Harris (ankle) is out for Sunday's finale vs. the Jets. Sony Michel gets another game as lead back -- a role that's fed him 20 carries and 1 target over the past 2 weeks.

Patriots RB Damien Harris (ankle) is inactive for tonight's game against the Bills. Sony Michel will continue operating as New England's lead back.

Patriots RB Damien Harris (ankle) has put in 2 limited practices so far this week. We’ll see what he does on Saturday and how he’s listed on the final injury report for Monday night’s game vs. the Bills. Sony Michel operated as New England’s lead back with Harris out last week.

Patriots RB Damien Harris (ankle) has been downgraded to out for Sunday's game against the Dolphins. That puts RB Sony Michel back in the lead ball-carrying role -- although he averaged just 8.7 carries per game in that spot over the first 3 weeks of the season. He's just a RB3 or flex play.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (quad) will play against the Cardinals today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It'll be Michel's 1st action since Week 3. Rapoport says Michel is expected to "split carries" with Damien Harris -- but adds that Harris will remain the "bell cow." Ok then. We still like Harris as a RB2 today and will monitor Michel's role.

The Patriots have activated RB Sony Michel off of injured reserve. He hasn’t appeared in a game since Week 3 due to a quad injury. Michel also spent time on the COVID-19 reserve list. In his absence, Damien Harris has tallied 3 games of 100+ rushing yards. Even if Michel is active for Week 11, he won’t warrant a start in fantasy leagues.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (quad) returned to practice on Thursday. He's eligible to play against the Jets on Monday night, although it's still unclear if he's ready. Michel's return would make it tough to trust rookie RB Damien Harris in fantasy lineups. Stay tuned.

Buffalo
5:10pm EDT 10/5/20

The Patriots have placed RB Sony Michel on IR with his quad injury. He's out for at least the next 3 games but is expected to return "relatively quickly" after that, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Still, Michel is not a must-hold on fantasy rosters. His absence gives Damien Harris -- and perhaps Rex Burkhead -- a shot to take over as New England's lead back.

The Patriots have downgraded RB Sony Michel (quad) to out for tonight's game against the Chiefs. That should leave Rex Burkhead, James White, J.J. Taylor and Damien Harris as the top 4 RBs. It's tough to know how New England will divvy up playing time, especially with Harris yet to play in a game this season. All are in play for various fantasy formats to close out Week 4, though. We'd play Burkhead first among the group for season-long leagues.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (quad) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chiefs. Michel's media availability was reportedly canceled, which sometimes suggests the player is in danger of missing the upcoming game. We'll look for an update on Michel on Sunday morning. Patriots-Chiefs doesn't kick off until 4:25 pm ET.

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