Patriots

First-round pick N'Keal Harry moving gingerly at Patriots practice

Patriots

FOXBORO -- Sometimes it's hard to gauge exactly how healthy a player might be when the media-availability period at practice is brief. Now that training camp is over, they're all brief. But what we saw from N'Keal Harry on Monday looked like a player who needs a little more time before he's ready to play.

The rookie first round pick was jogging gingerly toward the end of New England's stretching-and-warmup period, moving at a noticeably lighter pace than the receivers around him, including recently-activated wideout Josh Gordon. 

Harry was injured on two separate occasions in Detroit earlier this month. First, it appeared as though he suffered some type of injury to the back of his leg -- forcing him out of a joint-practice session briefly. Harry was healthy enough to return to that practice and then play in that week's preseason game, but he appeared to suffer an injury when one of his cleats was caught in the turf on the second of his two catches against the Lions at Ford Field. 

Harry has been limited at practice ever since and he has not participated in preseason games against the Titans and Panthers.

The Patriots could use all the healthy bodies they could get this time of year. Especially at that position. There are question marks abound at receiver for Tom Brady and the Patriots with Harry banged up, Gordon's reinstatement being conditional, Jakobi Meyers still going through some rookie growing pains, and Demaryius Thomas admitting that his explosiveness comes and goes as he returns from an Achilles injury.

 

We only got a quick look at Harry on Monday, and just because he looked less than 100 percent doesn't mean he won't be ready when the season begins. 

But we're getting closer to the portion of the schedule that matters, and he's missed meaningful practice reps. That almost three weeks have passed since Harry played in Detroit and he still doesn't look all that confident moving around in slow-paced practice periods isn't ideal.

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