According to reports, Patriots RB Sony Michel is fighting for his starting job.
Sony Michel has started the first two games for the New England Patriots in 2020, but he has little to show for it. Perhaps he’s still working his way back up to speed after offseason surgery and a trying 2019 campaign in which he was held back due to injuries, but either way, he’s running out of time to convince the coaching staff he should be the starting RB.
Fellow running back Damien Harris is expected to be activated off injured reserve after this week, and before he went down with a finger injury, he was leading the way in the Patriots backfield with his impressive play during training camp.
Michel, who has just 17 rushes for 56 yards and a touchdown on the year, is watching his average yards per carry plummet once again and his inability to properly (and explosively) hit holes is starting to become a serious problem.
Here’s the latest from Patriots insider Mike Reiss:
"“If Sony Michel wants to keep his job as the Patriots’ No. 1 running back, it isn’t a stretch to say he needs a big game Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.“The combination of a disappointing performance in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, coupled with on-the-rise Damien Harris (hand) eligible to be activated off injured reserve next week, has put Michel in a position where he needs a strong rebound.“Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, speaking of the running game in general, said: “We certainly have to do better than we did [against Seattle]. I think everyone knows that. That will be a huge focus for us.”"
Reiss also mentioned Michel’s poor job of hitting the hole and getting into the second level of the Seahawks’ defense on his first rush last week, which you can see here:
Yeah, those kinds of missed plays/gains aren’t going to fly in New England. Bill Belichick is all about execution, and the job could very well be Harris’ come next week. The former Alabama star showed off his speed and burst throughout training camp, and a bad game from Michel vs Las Vegas could give the coaching staff a legitimate excuse to test that out in Week 4.