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The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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Short-Term Replacements for Sony Michel

As you may already know, New England Patriots running back Sony Michel had a pretty gruesome-looking injury last Sunday against the Chicago Bears, leaving people expecting that he would be done for the season. Well, it turns out it was not as bad as many people had believed as he will only miss a few weeks with a sprained MCL. Although he is expected to be back at some point this season, the Patriots will still need to find a way to replace his production, so here are a few options.

Kenjon Barner

Barner is a guy who has been on and off the practice squad in the past few weeks and will likely get his time to shine now due to others’ injuries. However, Barner is not likely to be someone used in many short-yardage situations as he is a smaller running back. Although Barner is a good insurance option at running back, he does not provide the power that the Patriots will need in Michel’s absence. Barner is likely to get a lot more touches while Michel is sidelined, but more so because James White cannot play the entire game. 

Mike Gillislee

Gillislee is a familiar face for the Patriots as he played for them the entire 2017 season and spent the entire 2018 preseason with them as well. Last year Gillislee was used mostly to replace LeGarrette Blount in the short-yardage situations. Unfortunately, Gillislee had trouble staying on the field in 2017 due to injuries. He would be a very safe option for the Patriots because you would not have to give anything up to get him, so there is really no risk bringing him in.

Alfred Morris

Alfred Morris was once a highly touted running back in the NFL but has recently fallen off, and his spot on the depth chart has suffered as well. Morris is a power back, weighing in at a solid 224 pounds, and could be a very valuable option as a power back for the Patriots. With Morris likely being on the back nine of his career, acquiring him via trade from the San Francisco 49ers would probably only require a mid-round pick.

Le’Veon Bell

Acquiring Le’Veon Bell would be a pipe dream for the Patriots; and like most pipe dreams, this is the move that is least likely to occur. Bell has yet to play a snap of football this entire season due to an ongoing contract dispute with his team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell has implied that he will rejoin the team soon, but whether the Steelers want him back or not is a different story. At this point it seems more likely that Bell will be traded than play for the Steelers. Acquiring Bell would probably require a top-draft pick despite him not playing a snap so far this season because he is just simply that good. Therefore, I believe that this move is very unlikely since the Patriots would be giving up a top-draft pick for a half season of Bell. With the money he is asking for, there is no way that he would be with the Patriots longer than this season. Patriots coach Bill Belichick would never come remotely close to giving Bell the money he would ask for on his contract.

About the Contributor
Jonathan Hopkins, Sports Editor