The Patriots are getting a reinforcement in the running game.
Running back Sony Michel was activated off injured reserve Saturday, making him eligible to play against the Texans on Sunday. He has missed the Patriots’ last six games due to a quadriceps injury he suffered in Week 3. He also tested positive for COVID-19 during that time and has since recovered.
The last time Michel was on the field, he rushed for 117 yards in nine carries in a win over the Raiders. He adds another option to a Patriots ground game that’s been strong as of late. The Patriots’ 161.1 rushing yards per game is the second-best in the NFL, with emerging running back Damien Harris (who has rushed for 100-plus yards three times in the last six games) leading the way. Michel and Harris have a prime opportunity to do damage together against the Texans’ run defense, which is the worst in the NFL.
The Patriots also signed linebacker Terez Hall and activated receiver Donte Moncrief from the practice squad on Saturday. Hall was elevated from the Patriots’ practice squad the last two games, starting and recording 16 tackles over both games. Moncrief was signed to the Patriots’ practice squad earlier this month.
To make room for Michel and Hall, the Patriots released offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt and defensive lineman Derek Rivers. Froholdt, who was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, spent his rookie season on injured reserve, and in the eight games he played this season, he mostly served on special teams.
Rivers, who was drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, has struggled with injuries for much of his career. He missed his entire rookie season due to a torn ACL and missed the entire 2019 season due to an injury he suffered during the preseason. He has six tackles and 2.5 sacks over 14 regular-season games in his career.
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