This is a crucial year for New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry.
The Patriots' 2019 first-round draft pick appeared in only seven games last season after suffering an ankle injury in training camp. Heading into the 2020 campaign, Harry is expected to be an important part of New England's offense.
The problem? He's been a no-show at three Patriots practices over the last week.
For a second-year player who needs every rep he can get, that isn't ideal. It's currently unclear why Harry has been absent from camp, but the panic meter is beginning to rise for our Patriots insiders.
Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry shared their level of concern with Harry on a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
Curran pointed out the need for Harry to be a complementary receiver to Julian Edelman if the offense is going to excel this season. Since Harry hasn't been getting the reps to be that guy, both Curran and Perry believe that could be costly.
"What do you do? I don't know how you handle this. I don't know what he's dealing with ... What can you do with N'Keal Harry at this point, Tom? Because the reps that he's missing are vital. He's not like Julian Edelman where OK he can miss a week of practice and he'll come back and be just fine. He needs these reps for himself, he needs them for his quarterbacks ...
"We just got finished saying it's only one week of practice and the first week we're not going to hold interceptions against them. I would hold missed practices against somebody right now."
"Participation is a different story," Curran responded. "Because that's where the learning is." ... "It's really tough to see that coming together with your bigger wide receiver, your first-round wide receiver from last year."
Also discussed by Curran and Perry in the episode: How bad is Jarrett Stidham's leg injury? What does Stidham’s injury mean for Cam Newton? And can Gunner Olszewkski really make an impact in 2020?