Michel left Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears after suffering what appeared to be a serious injury in the second quarter. The rookie out of Georgia had to be helped off the field, and eventually carted to the locker room, after being twisted to the ground by multiple Bears defenders – and fumbling.
Michel initially limped to the sideline with arms around members of the Patriots’ training staff. He then left the field altogether sitting up on the cart.
But ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the MRI results revealed a best-case scenario, all things considered. Michel will be evaluated week by week, and presumably should return well before the end of the regular season.
The injury occurred with the Patriots driving down 10-7. Michel fumbled on the play – though not because the ball was knocked out of his hands; perhaps simply due to the pain. The Bears recovered, and converted the turnover into a touchdown to take a 17-7 lead.
The Patriots announced later in the second quarter that Michel was questionable to return, but ruled the rookie RB out for the game at halftime.
On the Pats’ first offensive drive after Michel’s injury, James White was the lead running back. He is the Patriots’ main pass-catcher out of the backfield, but figures to take on a bigger role if Michel misses time.
Kenjon Barner should also see more snaps. Barner and White were both in the backfield on the Patriots’ second and third plays of the drive. Barner got a carry on the fourth. White eventually capped the 12-play drive with a touchdown reception to put the Patriots up 21-17.
New England ultimately held on to win, 38-31.
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