Damien Harris could be setting himself up for breakout season

Ryan Hannable
July 15, 2020 - 10:26 am

Damien Harris only played in two games last season as a rookie, but things could be different in his sophomore season.

According to NFL Media's Mike Giardi, the Alabama product has been part of the Patriots' players only workouts the last few weeks with the Gillette Stadium facility closed to players due to COVID-19.

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This certainly is a positive development as the running back enters his second season.

"It's been interesting," Harris said to Patriots.com earlier in the offseason. "This is my first offseason in the league and with everything going on I still have to find a way to get my work in and prepare. I'm trying to take advantage of the opportunities I do have working out on my own and staying ready for whenever that time comes. It's been different but at the same time I feel like I'm doing everything I can to stay prepared, whether that's online or working out on my own.

"I was back in Alabama early and then back in Massachusetts. I've had a little interaction with teammates. Some of the guys have been able to get together and work out safely and still be productive."

Part of the reason why he did not see much playing time as a rookie was because of how much depth the team had at the position. The same players return this year, but perhaps Harris will be given a chance to show what he's got. It may come in the early stages of training camp with Sony Michel working his way back from offseason ankle surgery. 

Michel has been the Patriots' lead back the last two seasons, but it feels like more could be received from the position. At Alabama, Harris had two, 1,000-yard seasons and also caught 22 passes out of the backfield his senior year. 

It's clear Harris did not let his rookie season bring him down and he could come into training camp more motivated than ever to prove he deserves a shot and then not look back.

Besides Harris and Michel, the Patriots have Rex Burkhead, James White and Brandon Bolden in the running backs room.

Related: Ordway: Jarrett Stidham will be Week 1 starter for Patriots