Patriots WR Josh Gordon announced Thursday that he's stepping away from the team to focus on his mental health. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy. Don't expect to see him on the field again this season -- and this could spell the end of Gordon's NFL career. It's obviously a significant loss for the Patriots. Gordon has played over 70% of New England offensive snaps since arriving and averaged 6.2 targets per game. WR Chris Hogan would seem like the big winner, but he averaged just 4.7 targets and 2.3 catches over the first 3 weeks before the Gordon trade. We should see some more WR Cordarrelle Patterson, while WR Julian Edelman, TE Rob Gronkowski and RB James White could also pick up an extra target or 2.
Update: Gordon has been suspended indefinitely for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy. It's the 5th suspension of his NFL career and could result in permanent banishment from the league.
Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (neck) is active for today’s game against the Vikings. He shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups in his 1st action since Week 3, but we’re curious to see how much work he steals from Sony Michel and James White.
Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (neck) returned to practice on Thursday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. Burkhead appears on track to play when 1st eligible in Week 13. He figures to be 3rd in the backfield pecking order, though, behind James White and Sony Michel. We'd leave Burkhead on the waiver wire for now outside of deep fantasy leagues.
Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) is inactive for tonight’s game against the Packers. We’ll see if New England again uses Cordarrelle Patterson in the backfield. RB James White remains an elite fantasy play.
Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) has been downgraded to out for Monday night's game in Buffalo. He was originally listed as doubtful but never had a shot to play after missing practice all week. We'll see if he can return for Week 9. James White and Kenjon Barner will handle backfield duties for New England vs. the Bills.
A Patriots source told ESPN's Adam Schefter this regarding RB Sony Michel's knee injury: “Expect it will be a little bit but not overly serious. Won’t know til they look at it Monday.” It sounds like Michel avoided a season-ending injury but figures to miss some time. We should learn more later today. James White and Kenjon Barner are left as the Patriots' healthy RBs right now. They figure to add someone this week. Free agent and former Patriot Mike Gillislee's name has been tossed around.
Patriots RB Sony Michel was carted to the locker room with a left leg injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Bears. His leg got twisted awkwardly in a pile. We'll update his status when we learn more. Michel's absence leaves New England with RBs James White and Kenjon Barner.
UPDATE: The Pats announced Michel with a knee injury and deemed him questionable to return.
The Patriots will place RB Rex Burkhead on IR with the neck injury he suffered in Week 3, according to the Boston Globe's Jim McBride. No word yet on Burkhead's exact injury or whether he's a candidate to return after 8 weeks. We'll look for more details, but Burkhead can be dropped outside of deep leagues and leagues with an IR spot. New England's once deep backfield has now lost Burkead and Jeremy Hill to injuries. That leaves Sony Michel as the clear lead ball-carrier and James White as the primary pass-catching back. Both guys look like weekly fantasy starters at this point.
Patriots RB Jeremy Hill tore his right ACL in Sunday's win over the Texans and will miss the rest of the season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Hill's injury leaves even more immediate work available for Rex Burkhead, who handed 18 of 27 Patriots RB rushing attempts vs. Houston. It also removes competition for rookie Sony Michel (knee) whenever he's ready to be active on gameday. Should Michel continue to miss games, James White could also see more ground work. White carried 5 times against the Texans. Hill signed just a 1-year deal with New England. He turns 26 in October.
Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) is inactive for today’s game against the Texans. The rookie has been limited in practice the past couple of weeks and seemingly has a shot to debut in Week 2. But it might be October before we can trust him in fantasy lineups. Rex Burkhead, James White and Jeremy Hill will handle backfield duties for the Pats today.
ESPN's Mike Reiss expects Patriots RB Rex Burkhead to be "eased into the mix" as he works back from his knee injury. Burkhead has been practicing for a few weeks now, so the report is a bit surprising. New England is also thin at RB, with Sony Michel (knee) iffy for the opener. James White is a pass-catching back, and Jeremy Hill is the only other RB on the roster. We're curious to see exactly what the Patriots offense will look like considering they're also razor thin at WR. Expect White, WR Chris Hogan and TE Rob Gronkowski to be super busy against Houston on Sunday. Burkhead is shaping up as a risk/reward RB2.
The Athletic's Jeff Howe reports that Patriots RB Rex Burkhead has a "slight tear" in his knee. "But it’s been deemed a minor injury and something he’ll be able to play through," Howe adds. This remains a murky situation (as usual with the Patriots), and no other media members have reported on Burkhead's injury as of Friday morning. We'll continue to look for updates, but Burkhead obviously comes with plenty of risk in drafts right now. It's completely unclear what's torn in his knee, how effective he'll be playing through it and how long it'll hold up. New England, of course, is still without rookie RB Sony Michel, who had fluid drained from his knee a couple of weeks ago. That leaves Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee as the healthy early-down backs. Both guys saw time with the 1st-team offense in Thursday night's preseason game, but Hill again out-performed Gillislee. The former Bengal is averaging 4.8 yards per carry through 2 exhibitions vs. Gillislee's 2.8. Hill is looking more and more intriguing as a late-round flier by the day.
Patriots RB Rex Burkhead missed the preseason opener and the last 2 practices with an undisclosed injury. We'll see how long he remains sidelined, but it's worth noting after he struggled staying healthy last year. Burkhead missed 4 games with a rib injury and 3 more (including a playoff game) with a sprained knee. RB Sony Michel remains out with his knee issue, leaving James White, Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee as New England's healthy backs. Hill out-played Gillislee in the preseason opener and has reportedly gotten more 1st-teams reps since.
Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel will require a "procedure" for a knee injury he suffered in practice Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe. The recovery is expected to cost Michel the entire preseason and might keep him sidelined "into the start" of the regular season. That's obviously terrible news for the fantasy outlook of a rookie back, especially one competing with Rex Burkhead and James White for backfield snaps and touches. We'll see how sharply Michel's ADP falls. He'll likely need to get to the Round 8 range or so in 12-team drafts to be worth the risk. Burkhead, meanwhile, should climb from an ADP that has already been ascending. Don't be surprised if we start to see him regularly go in Round 4.
Update: ESPN's Mike Reiss reports that Michel had fluid drained from the knee and that the situation "is not expected to affect Michel's availability for a significant portion, if any, of the regular season." We've moved Michel down our RB rankings and Burkhead up, but we'll keep watching for any further updates on this issue.
The Patriots selected Georgia RB Sony Michel with the 31st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s the first 1st-round RB for New England since Laurence Maroney in 2006. That didn’t work out so well, but Michel has the potential to fare much better. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry across his 4-year college career and flashed pass-catching ability with seasons of 26 and 22 grabs. Michel is electric in the open field with surprising power. The biggest concern is a lengthy injury history that includes a torn ACL and a pair of ankle injuries. This is a exciting landing spot for Michel. New England’s backfield is crowded on paper, but Rex Burkhead, James White, Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee are all role players. Consider Michel the odds-on favorite to lead the 2018 backfield in touches.
Patriots RB James White (ankle) is expected to return for tonight’s game against the Titans. He’s officially questionable. If active, White would carry nice PPR appeal against a defense Football Outsiders rates 7th vs. the run and 32nd in RB pass coverage
Patriots RB James White (ankle) is inactive for today’s game against the Jets. Dion Lewis will operate as New England’s feature back and is a good bet for 20+ touches.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB James White (ankle) is not expected to play against the Jets today. With RBs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee also out with their knee injuries, New England is down to RBs Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden. Look for Lewis to get as much as he can handle. He's a locked-in RB1 for Week 17.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB James White (ankle) is not expected to play against the Bills today. He entered the weekend questionable. With White and Rex Burkhead out, New England is expected to have only Dion Lewis, Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden active in the backfield. There's potential for Lewis to increase his goal-line chances and pass targets. Gillislee carries TD upside, though it's tough to know how big his role after he spent the past 6 weeks as a healthy scratch. He's only a DFS option. Bolden is almost solely a special-teams contributor.
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