Rhamondre Stevenson reportedly should be good to play in Week 1 after missing Friday’s practice

Patriots

Stevenson is reportedly dealing with a stomach bug that forced him to miss practice on Friday.

Rhamondre Stevenson unexpectedly missed Friday’s practice. AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

After a brief scare on Friday, the Patriots will have one of their top players available for Sunday’s season-opening matchup against the Eagles.

Rhamondre Stevenson had a stomach bug that forced him to miss Friday’s practice, but he should be good to go for Week 1, MassLive’s Karen Guregian reported. The running back’s absence from Friday’s practice was a surprise as he wasn’t on the injury report in the prior two days, indicating that he was a full participant.

In the event that Stevenson’s stomach bug gets worse and causes him to miss Sunday’s game, the Patriots would likely turn to Ezekiel Elliott to shoulder the burden out of the backfield. In fact, the August signee is the only other running back on the Patriots’ 53-man roster.

The Patriots can also call up a running back from the practice squad if they need to ahead of Sunday’s game. They have a pair of running backs on their practice squad, placing Kevin Harris and Ty Montgomery on there after both players were waived on cutdown day in August.

New England could call up either Harris or Montgomery regardless of Stevenson’s status for the game against Philadelphia. The team’s typically carried three running backs on their gameday roster in the past.

Even after the signing of Elliott, many have expected Stevenson to follow his breakout campaign in 2022 with a bigger 2023 season. Stevenson rushed for 1,040 yards and five touchdowns, adding a team-high 69 receptions to go along with 421 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.

On top of all of that, Stevenson played in 66 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps last season, which is the most for a Patriots running back in a single season since at least 2011, according to Pro Football Reference.

Part of the reason why Stevenson played such a high number of snaps was due to the injury issues that plagued Damien Harris, who played in at least part of 11 games last season before departing to Buffalo in March. While the Patriots signed Elliott, they have similar unknowns behind their two lead backs as they did last season.


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