Patriots: N’Keal Harry’s injury could affect his future

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: N'Keal Harry #15 of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: N'Keal Harry #15 of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

We know the preseason doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the New England Patriots sure looked ready for the start of the regular season during their 35-0 win over Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Cam Newton and Mac Jones both looked worthy of the starting job, while the Patriots’ backfield turned in a great performance and will give Bill Belichick something to think about before the final round of roster cuts.

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t show some love to the defense, which limited the Eagles to 14 first downs and 163 yards of total offense.

While it was a complete performance from both sides of the ball, the Patriots unfortunately received a bad dose of injury news after the win.

You know how N’Keal Harry was forced to leave the game after landing awkwardly on his shoulder trying to make an acrobatic catch? Well, the tests are back and they confirm Harry will miss four weeks, including the season opener.

N’Keal Harry’s latest injury could affect his Patriots future.

A four-week timetable would put Harry on track to return for the Sept. 12 showdown against the Dolphins, but it’s clear the Patriots want to make sure his shoulder is fully recovered before they put him back out there.

This is an unfortunate turn of events for Harry, and it’s worth pondering how this injury might affect his future with the Patriots.

The 2019 first-rounder requested a trade before camp, but showed up to camp as one of the standout performers, leading many fans to believe New England should give him one last chance to prove himself.

However, he posted a dud in Week 1 of the preseason against Washington (one catch for four yards) and was a non-factor on Thursday vs the Eagles, managing just one reception for 19 yards before suffering the injury.

It’s unclear if the Patriots have been shopping Harry behind the scenes amid his resurgence, but you have to think this injury has complicated his market. If nothing else, his value has certainly taken a hit over the last few weeks.

Harry was a real candidate to be traded before the 53-man roster deadline on Aug. 31. That probably won’t happen given his health, so will the Patriots keep him on the active roster or place him on injured reserve to start the year?

The possibilities are endless. Our guess? Harry’s injury might have bought him a little extra time in Foxborough, but he still feels like a surefire bet to be traded.

Whether that happens around roster cuts or closer to the mid-season deadline, Harry’s days with the Patriots appear numbered.