Updating a previous report, Burkhead (neck) made an appearance at Tuesday's practice, according to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe.
After Burkhead wasn't spotted on the field for the portion of the session that was open to the media, there was some thought that he may have suffered a setback with the neck injury that has kept him sidelined since Week 3. Instead, Burkhead merely arrived late to work, though for good reason: he was busy witnessing the birth of his son, Jett. The new father thus seems to be trending in the right direction since resuming practice Nov. 8, potentially putting him in line to return from injured reserve when first eligible Week 13 against the Vikings.
Burkhead resumed practicing Nov. 8, initiating a 21-day window for the Patriots to evaluate him for a return from injured reserve. Because IR rules mandate players to miss a minimum of eight weeks, Burkhead won't be eligible for activation until Week 13 against the Vikings. With that in mind, his absence Tuesday isn't necessarily an indication that he suffered a setback with the neck issue, as the Patriots could just being cautious with his usage in practice while his earliest possible return date remains just under two weeks away.
Burkhead (neck) returned to practice Thursday, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.
With that, Burkhead assumes the Patriots' second (and final) designated to return IR slot. The running back isn't eligible to play in a game until Week 13, so he'll have some time to get in shape and re-prove his health with an eye toward helping the Patriots down the stretch and into the postseason. Assuming he's activated when eligible, Burkhead's fantasy prospects at that time will be tied to the status of top back Sony Michel (who is currently dealing with a knee injury) and change-of-pace stalwart James White. In any case, Burkhead's versatility would no doubt bolster the team's backfield depth and he'd provide a capable injury fill-in for either Michel and White.
After sustaining a concussion in the Patriots' season-opening win over the Texans, Burkhead was cleared to play in the team's last two games, only to exit the Week 3 loss to the Lions with a neck injury. The Patriots didn't offer much clarity on the severity of Burkhead's setback after the game concluded, but his impending move to IR suggests it's a week-to-week concern at the very least. Burkhead will now be sidelined for a minimum of seven games with the injury, though if he demonstrates the desired progress in his recovery, he could be a candidate to return from IR as soon as the Nov. 25 game against the Jets. With Burkhead now out of the backfield mix until further notice, Sony Michel profiles as the team's primary rusher, with James White likely to handle most of the work on passing downs.
Burkhead is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Lions due to a neck injury.
Burkhead exited the game in the third quarter without seeing a carry, though he did contribute two receptions for 26 yards through the air. In his absence, Sony Michel will continue to handle the majority of between-the-tackles work while James White steps in on passing downs.
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/25/18||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ PIT||4:25 pm|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||3||64||264||4.1||31||5||2||14|
|2018||New England Patriots||3||2||24||86||3.6||12||0||0||4|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||3||30||254||8.5||23||3||1||0||13|
|2018||New England Patriots||3||2||3||31||10.3||19||0||0||0||1|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||1||17||17.0||17||0||0|
|2018||New England Patriots||3||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||4||4.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||New England Patriots||3||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||No.||Yds||Lg||Avg||Blk||I20||TB||Downed||No||Ret Yds||TD||Net Avg|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||0||0||0||---||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||---|
|2018||New England Patriots||3||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||---|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||New England Patriots||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|