Patriots Running Back Michel Hopes to Make NFL Debut Against Jaguars

September 16, 2018
New England Patriots running backs Sony Michel, left, and Jeremy Hill run through a drill during a Sept. 4 practice in Foxboro. BOSTON HERALD / NANCY LANE Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Rich Thompson

Boston Herald

FOXBORO -- Sony Michel hasn’t been officially activated for Sunday’s clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the New England Patriots rookie running back knows what he will be up against if he does get the call for his NFL debut.

While Michel was churning out all-purpose yards for Georgia last year, Jacksonville was second in the NFL in total defense (286.1 ypg.), points allowed (16.8) and sacks (55). And the Jaguars now have the third-rated defense in the AFC following their season-opening victory over the Giants.

“They have a great defense and they are fast,” Michel said. “They run to the ball well and they are trying to create turnovers. I’m excited about Sunday’s game.”

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound first-round draft pick suffered a knee injury early in training camp and missed all four preseason games and the season opener against Houston.

The Patriots’ lack of depth at running back could dictate whether Michel plays on Sunday. Jeremy Hill was lost for the season with a torn ACL and Rex Burkhead suffered a concussion against the Texans. James White is primarily a third-down back, so the Patriots brought in former Eagle Kenjon Barner to add depth.

“I’ll be excited whenever my day comes, but it’s all preparation,” Michel said.

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