Michel is the only kick returner listed on the Patriots' current posted depth chart, Andrew Callahan of Masslive.com reports. The running back logged four kickoff return attempts for 77 yards last season.

It remains to be seen how much return work the Patriots' lead back will do this coming season, but there's a void to fill in that area following the departure of Cordarrelle Patterson, who averaged 28.8 yards on 23 kickoff returns in 2018. Given Michel's importance to the team's ground attack, it wouldn't surprise us to see another primary kickoff returner identified in the coming months, however. As a rookie last year, Michel totaled 209 carries for 931 yards and six TDs in 13 regular-season games, while adding seven catches for 50 yards. He's now set to reprise his role as the team's preferred early-down option. Beyond Michel, James White remains entrenched as New England's change-of-pace back and Rex Burkhead returns to provide valuable versatility. Michel has dealt with knee injuries in the past but presumably will head into training camp healthy. With New England's backfield as a whole having dealt with its share of injuries last year, it's nonetheless understandable that the team added depth in April's draft, selecting Damien Harris in the third round. While he's not an immediate threat to Michel's perch atop the depth chart, the newcomer does provide the team with a nice insurance policy in the event that Michel's knee issues flare up again.

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