Burkhead will face competition during the upcoming season in a crowded Patriots backfield that now includes third-round draft pick Damien Harris, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports.
In addition to Harris and Burkhead, the Patriots will return lead runner Sony Michel for his second season, while James White is locked in as the team's passing-down back. Prior to the draft, Burkhead profiled as a versatile complementary piece behind Michel and White, but the arrival of Harris muddles Burkhead's path to carries. With Brandon Bolden also back in the mix as a core special-teams contributor, the backfield now goes five deep, which is one more than Bill Belichick typically prefers to keep on the 53-man roster. The numbers game could easily work itself out before Week 1 if/when injuries hit, but for now, it's tough to project any sort of reliable workload for Burkhead.
Burkhead rushed seven times for 43 yards and brought in both of his targets for 15 yards in the Patriots' 13-3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.
Burkhead out-touched James White by five carries, serving as Sony Michel's primary backup and making a pivotal 26-yard run on the game-clinching drive. The versatile veteran struggled during the 2018 regular season, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry while dealing with a neck injury and sharing time with both Michel and White. However, Burkhead is on the books for a modest $3 million in 2019, so he has a good chance to hang on to a roster spot next season.
Burkhead carried 12 times for 41 yards and two TDs and hauled in all four of his targets for 23 yards in Sunday's 37-31 AFC Championship Game win over the Chiefs.
In chilly game conditions in Kansas City, Burkhead was a key cog in the Patriots' game script, while working behind Sony Michel (29 carries) and along with change-of-pace ace James White (four catches). Looking ahead, Burkhead will remain involved in the team's backfield plans against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, but game flow in that contest could well result in a dip in volume for the versatile back, who previously logged four carries and one catch in New England's divisional-round win over the Chargers.
Burkhead carried five times for 14 yards and added an 18-yard TD reception in Sunday's 38-3 win over the Jets.
Burkhead, who was on the field for 17 plays on offense in the contest, was once again out-snapped in Week 17 by both James White (27) and Sony Michel (25). The 28-year-old -- who missed a good chunk of time this season with a neck injury -- finishes up the 2018 campaign with 57 carries for 186 yards and 14 catches (on 20 targets) for 131 yards and a TD in eight games. Burkhead -- who is under contract with the Patriots through the 2020 campaign -- adds depth and versatility to New England's backfield, but as the playoffs approach, he isn't a reliable fantasy option as long as both Michel and White remain healthy.
Burkhead rushed 13 times for 39 yards and added four catches for 40 yards on five targets while also losing a fumble in Sunday's 24-12 win over the Bills.
Burkhead was outplayed by Sony Michel and James White on the ground, with both of those alternatives gaining more rushing yards and scoring a touchdown apiece. While Burkhead was New England's receiving option of choice out of the backfield this time, it wouldn't be surprising to see him cede more opportunities to White against the Jets in Week 17, as both guys possess similar skill sets while Michel is the most talented pure rusher of the group.
Burkhead was on the field for 16 of the Patriots' 62 snaps on offense in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Steelers, en route to carrying four times for 25 yards and hauling in all three of his targets for 18 yards.
Burkhead was once again out-snapped Week 15 by both James White (25) and Sony Michel (23). In that timeshare context, Burkhead adds depth and versatility to New England's backfield, but he isn't a reliable fantasy option.
Burkhead logged 17 of a possible 82 snaps on offense in Sunday's 34-33 loss to the Dolphins, en route to carrying four times for two yards and catching one pass for two yards.
Burkhead was out-snapped by both Sony Michel (34) and James White (33), a trend that figures to continue as long as his backfield counterparts remain healthy. In his current complementary role, Burkhead isn't a reliable fantasy option, but his return to the mix adds valuable versatility and stretch run depth to New England's ground game.
In his first game back since returning from IR, Burkhead logged 17 out of a possible 74 snaps on offense in Sunday's 24-10 win over the Vikings, en route to carrying seven times for 20 yards and hauling in both of his targets for 21 yards.
Meanwhile, James White received 33 snaps and a team-high seven catches, while Sony Michel saw action on 30 snaps and led the team with 17 carries. Burkhead's versatility will lead to his share of touches each week, but at this stage Michel is the team's preferred early-down option and White is a big part of the passing game. That may not leave enough looks for Burkhead to be a reliable fantasy option, but keep in mind that he is one backfield injury away from relevance on that front.
Burkhead is active for Sunday's game against the Vikings, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports.
In his return to the mix in Week 13, Burkhead figures to work behind top back Sony Michel and pass-catching ace James White. While the versatile Burkhead is likely to be eased back into the New England backfield initially, in the coming weeks he could carve out enough of a role to merit deep-league consideration down the NFL stretch run.
Burkhead (neck) has been activated off IR in advance of Sunday's game against the Vikings, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
In his projected return to the lineup this weekend, Burkhead would work behind top back Sony Michel and pass-catching ace James White. With that in mind, ESPN's Mike Reiss projects the Patriots to mix Burkhead in every third series or so in Week 13. That may not be enough for the running back to make an immediate fantasy splash, but Burkhead could carve out enough of a role down the stretch to merit deep league consideration. Moreover, he's versatile enough to sub for either Michel or White in their specific roles in the event that injuries strike.
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, the initial thought had him suffering 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 (neck) wasn't present for the Patriots' practice Tuesday, Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald reports.
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 be 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 or White.
The Patriots will place Burkhead (neck) on injured reserve Wednesday, Jim McBride of The Boston Globe reports.
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, who was evaluated for a neck injury in the second half of Sunday's loss to the Lions, did not return to the game, Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald reports.
Prior to his exit from the game, Burkhead had a minimal role in the Patriots' Week 3 offense, with rookie Sony Michel leading the team's backfield with 14 carries for 50 yards. Burkhead, who dealt with concussion symptoms leading up to Week 2, now has another injury to contend with as the Patriots commence preparations for Week 4's matchup against the Dolphins. Banged up and losing touches to Michel, Burkhead's fantasy prospects have taken a downturn since he logged 18 carries for 64 yards Week 1, a game which Michel missed as he recovered from a knee issue.
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.
Burkhead (concussion) rushed six times for 22 yards and wasn't targeted in the passing game during Sunday's 31-20 loss to the Jaguars.
New England is notoriously inconsistent with its running back usage, but things didn't look good for Burkhead in Sony Michel's (knee) debut. Michel got a team-high 10 carries and was targeted twice while James White caught seven of eight targets and added four carries. If Michel handles most of the rushing duties moving forward and White serves as the receiving back, that doesn't leave much of a role for Burkhead.
Burkhead (concussion) is listed as active Sunday against the Jaguars.
Meanwhile, Sony Michel (knee) will make his season debut Sunday, with James White on hand to work in a change-of-pace/pass-catching role. While Michel's availability figures to cut into his workload, Burkhead still seems likely to head the team's Week 2 backfield committee.
Burkhead (concussion) is "likely to play" Sunday against the Jaguars, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Per the report, Burkhead still needs to get through pre-game warmups without any setbacks, but it looks like he'll give it a go Sunday. Meanwhile, Sony Michel (knee) is expected to make his season debut Sunday, and in a scenario where both backs play, he's a threat to cut into Burkhead's Week 2 workload.
Burkhead (concussion), who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, made the trip with the team to Jacksonville, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports.
Burkhead was able to practice in a limited fashion both Thursday and Friday, but still has yet to receive clearance from the NFL's concussion protocol. The fact that he made the trip to Jacksonville suggests the team expects Burkhead to receive clearance ahead of the Week 2 game, which would be a boon to a backfield that could be without Sony Michel (knee) for a second straight week and lost Jeremy Hill to a season-ending knee injury in the season opener. If able to play, Burkhead would likely serve as the Patriots' lead runner in the contest, though the division of the backfield snaps would be murkier if Michel were also to play. James White also lingers as the Patriots' top pass-catching back.
|2017||New England Patriots||10||3||64||264||4.1||31||5||2||14|
|2018||New England Patriots||8||4||57||186||3.3||12||0||0||11|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||3||30||254||8.5||23||3||1||0||13|
|2018||New England Patriots||8||4||14||131||9.4||25||1||1||0||4|
|2017||New England Patriots||10||1||17||17.0||17||0||0|
|2018||New England Patriots||8||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||8||3||2.0||1||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||8||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||8||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|