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.

Recent Shark Bites

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.

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 Rex Burkhead injured his neck in the 4th quarter of Sunday night's game against the Lions and did not return. He played just 7 snaps before exiting, carrying 0 times and catching 2 of 3 targets. He's fallen behind Sony Michel and James White in the backfield pecking order.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (concussion) is active for today’s game against the Jaguars. He remains the best bet to lead New England backs in touches after handling 19 of them in the opener.

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