Report: More clarity on Stevenson, Pats' RB situation for Week 10 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Who's starting at running back for the New England Patriots on Sunday? It might be the rookie.
First-year running back Rhamondre Stevenson is expected to practice Friday and is "looking good" to play in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, CLNS Media's Evan Lazar reported Friday morning.
Stevenson has yet to practice this week after suffering a head injury in New England's Week 9 win over the Carolina Panthers. But his return to practice Friday would be great news for the Patriots -- especially since starter Damien Harris is also sidelined with a head injury.
If Stevenson practices Friday and Harris doesn't, it seems unlikely Harris would play against Cleveland. That would set Stevenson up to be the early-down back, with second-year rusher J.J. Taylor and veteran Brandon Bolden serving as change-of-pace options.
Stevenson tallied 106 total yards (62 rushing, 44 receiving) on a career-high 12 touches last week, so the Patriots seem comfortable using the Oklahoma product after some early-season ball control issues. The team also hasn't signed or worked out a running back this week, a step they probably would have taken if they thought Taylor and Bolden would be their only two active running backs.
The Patriots' rushing attack will face a tall task against the Browns' third-ranked run defense (84.8 rushing yards per game allowed), but their backfield is still in better shape than Cleveland's: Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton and John Kelly are all on the COVID-19/reserve list.