Former Patriots WR Gets Grim Outlook After ‘Severe’ Injury

Getty N'Keal Harry

It’s hard not to root for N’Keal Harry, but it has been really tough for the former New England Patriots wide receiver to catch a break. After being shipped off to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick, Harry was seemingly establishing some momentum with his new team.

Unfortunately, Harry went down with what is being called a “severe” high-ankle sprain, per Courtney Cronin of

While Cronin had the report calling Harry’s injury severe, the first timetable for his potential return came from’s Coral Smith, who wrote Harry is expected to miss six weeks because of the injury. This isn’t the first time in Harry’s relatively short NFL career that he has suffered an injury setback during training camp. writer Evan Lazar noted Harry has been hurt at or near this stage of preparation for the NFL season in three of the four offseasons he has had in the league.

It is nearly impossible to gain the continuity, confidence, and knowledge of the playbook necessary to get off to a strong start to the season on a team while being inactive. The Bears are a great team for Harry because they don’t have established receivers for him to compete with for snaps.

A healthy Harry seemed to have a great shot at winning the starting spot opposite Darnell Mooney and perhaps becoming a downfield threat for second-year quarterback Justin Fields. As it is, that potential connection will have to wait a while to form.

When Might Harry Be Available to Return?

If the six weeks timetable is accurate, it’s possible Harry could return for the Bears’ Week 2 matchup with their rivals, the Green Bay Packers, on September 18. Harry might be able to return for the September 25 clash with the Houston Texans if he needs another week or so.

The game that is likely circled on Harry’s calendar takes place on October 24. That’s when the Bears visit the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Harry will undoubtedly want to be healthy for that contest.

He could have the opportunity to make the Patriots rue the day they traded him. However, none of that is possible until Harry can get healthy enough to get back on the practice field and ultimately in the regular rotation of wide receivers with the Bears.

If Harry isn’t back by October 24, their injury might be even more severe than originally believed, or he has had some other sort of setback to hinder his return.

During his time with the Patriots, Harry has missed 16 games. That averages out to more than 5 games missed per season, which isn’t ideal. Hopefully, despite the training camp injury, Harry can still make this upcoming season the healthiest of his career.

Patriots Notes and Quotes

  • Alabama May Have a Slew of Future Patriots on Their Roster

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Patriots legend Bill Belichick are friends. Belichick has often plucked players from the Crimson Tide in the draft. Running back Damien Harris and quarterback Mac Jones are two examples.

We may be ready to see another few Bama players land with the Patriots. The 2024 NFL Draft figures to have a heavy dose of Alabama players. Heavy’s Matt Lombardo posted an article with a quote from an NFL executive claiming the upcoming draft might be the best for the safety position in history.

According to one executive referenced by Lombardo, Bama has 5 defensive backs who could be selected in the first round in Jordan Battle,  DeMarcco Hellams, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Khyree Jackson, and Malachi Moore. The Patriots have needs across their secondary, especially at the corner position, but potentially at safety if Devin McCourty doesn’t return in 2023.

Keep an eye on Alabama’s season and how the Patriots’ secondary progresses this season.

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