Watch Now: Impact of Sony Michel knee injury (1:54)

After losing Dion Lewis to the Titans in free agency, the Patriots used one of their first-round picks on running back Sony Michel out of Georgia. But the Patriots will be forced to put their plans for Michel on hold, at least temporarily.

On Wednesday, Michel suffered an injury and on Saturday, he underwent a knee procedure, according to multiple reports. His recovery timeline is unclear. All reports indicate that Michel will be able to contribute for most of -- if not all of -- the regular season, but it certainly seems like there's a chance Michel will miss the beginning of the season.

According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, the injury is expected to keep him out for the duration of the preseason and maybe the start of the regular season. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, the "clean-up" procedure, which drained fluid from Michel's knee, will keep him sidelined for at least 10 days and "is not expected to affect Michel's availability for a significant portion, if any, of the regular season."  However, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Michel will be good to go by the time the season rolls around.

Of course, whenever the words "knee operation" are used, worrying about the long-term impact of that knee operation is justified. And it's worth noting that The Ringer's Michael Lombardi reported before the draft that there were concerns about how Michel's knee would hold up over time.

Michel is expected to be one of a few running backs the Patriots use during the upcoming season, joining a committee that also includes Rex Burkhead and James White. Suddenly, Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee's chances of making the team and contributing just got a boost. 

It's a good thing that the Patriots boast depth at the position, because they normally rely on their running backs to both handle carries and catch passes coming out of the backfield -- and a quick glance at their receiver depth chart indicates the Patriots will probably rely heavily on their running backs again during the upcoming season. Lewis won't be easy to replace after his 1,110-yard output a season ago, but White is more than capable of being Tom Brady's safety net coming out of the backfield.

Michel will likely be asked to handle the majority of the carries considering he's coming off a final season at Georgia that saw him rush for 1,227 yards and 16 touchdowns, so that'll be an area of concern in the event Michel isn't ready to go by September. Burkhead could be the biggest benefactor here, at least from a fantasy perspective. 

The Patriots open up their season against the Texans and Jaguars, two teams that nearly beat them a year ago.