Just as the 24-year-old wide receiver was showing flashes of becoming the kind of matchup problem the Patriots envisioned when they drafted him in the first round in 2019, Harry suffered a shoulder injury during the team’s 35-0 rout of the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
Take a look at the play when Harry was injured. He’d gained a step on the defender and Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones put the ball in the right place. Unfortunately, Harry couldn’t come up with the pass despite laying out in attempt to make the reception, and he was injured on the play.
You can see that Harry’s shoulder appears to go limp at a point. He walked off the field under his own power, but did not return to the game.
When he left the field, the optics weren’t great on his physical state.
N’Keal Harry Left Lincoln Financial Field in a Sling
Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal retweeted this image posted by Josh Tolentino of The Philadelphia Inquirer showing Harry leaving the Patriots’ locker room with a sling.
On Friday morning, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told the media he “doesn’t know” Harry or injured linebacker Josh Uche’s status.
It was a shame to see Harry go down. Obviously, you hate to see any player injured, but when you consider how this injury could derail what appeared to be a resurgence for Harry, it makes it tougher.
Harry had been having his moments in the game against the Eagles. This route to get open against zone coverage was beautiful and the throw from Jones was strong.
As of early Friday morning, we don’t know details on Harry’s status, but because of some of the other injury issues already plaguing the Patriots, this one could have some significant impact on the team’s offense.
How Would an Injury to N’Keal Harry Impact the Patriots?
Believe it or not, the Patriots will likely be OK as it pertains to their outside receivers. Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and even youngsters like Kristian Wilkerson and Isaiah Zuber can fill in as needed, though none of them offers the big-body target that Harry brings to the table.
Still, the Patriots will be even more impacted by Harry’s injury on the inside routes usually run by tight ends. The Patriots are already very thin at tight end with Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith nursing injuries.
Matt LaCosse may be dealing with a concussion after he was knocked cold by an Eagles linebacker during a joint practice earlier in the week. The Patriots also released tight end Troy Fumagalli. That leaves the team with only one natural tight end, and that’s second-year player Devin Asiasi.
Unfortunately, Asiasi missed time last season with injury. He’s also been out for a good chunk of training camp after testing positive for COVID-19. Because of how sparse things have been at tight end, Harry could have helped at the very least with some inside or up-the-seams routes.
If he’s on the shelf for an extended period, the Patriots may have to go into scramble mode. Stay tuned.
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