The Patriots are taking on the Browns at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to tune in to NBC Sports Boston for Patriots Pregame Live at 2:30 p.m. ET, then Postgame Live immediately after the Week 8 matchup.
The New England Patriots have one of the deeper running back rooms in the NFL at the moment. With Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, and Brandon Bolden all on board, the team has a number of ways that they can attack defenses. And so far this season, they have used a committee approach to maximize their values.
However, one player that hasn't factored into the mix as much as some thought is Damien Harris. A third-round rookie out of Alabama, Harris has only been active once for the Patriots. That came in Week 7 against the New York Jets. Though the game was a blowout, Harris didn't get his first carry until the latter stages of the fourth quarter and overall, he had four carries for 12 yards.
But still, Harris' limited opportunities haven't bothered him so far.
"All I worry about every single day is improving as a player and doing whatever this team needs me to do," Harris said per Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe. "If my name or number ever gets called, I try to be as ready as I can. As far as worrying about, ‘Am I going to play or am I not going to play?’, this, that, those are things I don’t have time to worry about."
It certainly sounds like Harris is buying into the Patriots system. And it's not entirely a surprise either. After all, Harris was used as part of a tandem at Alabama. He and first-round pick Josh Jacobs effectively split carries in their final season together.
And as Harris stated, adjusting to the NFL has taken some time, which partially explains his limited opportunities.
"This is a professional league," Harris said. "Everything is harder. Learning is harder, the people you’re going against is harder. There’s a lot more challenges, but you just have to continue to improve every single day."
If Harris can continue to improve, more opportunities may arise for him in the Patriots run offense. Burkhead hasn't played at all since Week 4 with a toe injury. Michel has served as the team's lead back this year, but he is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry and hasn't been much of a factor in the passing game.
Should these issues persist, Harris should continue to be active and could see some more carries. And right now, it seems like he has the right attitude as he waits for his first big chance to prove himself.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.