Michel informed Adam Schefter of ESPN via text message that he expects the left knee injury he suffered in Sunday's 38-31 win over the Bears to sideline him for "a little bit," but doesn't view the issue as "overly serious."

The Patriots won't have a clearer idea of the rookie's outlook until he undergoes an MRI on Monday, but it appears there's early optimism that he avoided a season-ending injury. It's still likely, however, that Michel will be sidelined for at least the Patriots' Week 8 matchup with the Bills, which would leave New England with just two healthy options in the backfield. While James White reached the end zone twice in the Week 7 victory and accumulated 97 scrimmage yards on 19 touches (11 carries, eight receptions), the Patriots would probably prefer to deploy him mainly on passing downs. With that in mind, there's reason to think the team might add a bigger, short-yardage specialist to complement White if Michel is forced to miss time. Kenyon Barner is also on hand and essentially split the snaps with White on running plays versus the Bears, but at 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, he's not ideally suited for punishment between the tackles either.

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