Who's starting at running back for the New England Patriots on Sunday? It might be the rookie.
First-year running back Rhamondre Stevenson is expected to practice Friday and is "looking good" to play in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, CLNS Media's Evan Lazar reported Friday morning.
UPDATE (Sunday, Nov. 14, 11:30 am a.m. ET): Stevenson officially is active against the Browns, while Harris has been ruled out.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick labeled both Stevenson and Harris "day-to-day" Friday, and if neither running back can suit up, second-year rusher J.J. Taylor and veteran Brandon Bolden would shoulder the running back duties.
Stevenson tallied 106 total yards (62 rushing, 44 receiving) on a career-high 12 touches last week, so the Patriots certainly would benefit from having him active Sunday. The team also hasn't signed or worked out a running back this week, so Taylor and Bolden are the only two other options at the position (although tight end Jonnu Smith perhaps could be used as a running back).
The Patriots' rushing attack will face a tall task against the Browns' third-ranked run defense (84.8 rushing yards per game allowed), but their backfield is still in better shape than Cleveland's: Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton and John Kelly are all on the COVID-19/reserve list.