5'10'' / 225 lbs
The Patriots have signed Harris to their practice squad.
Following initial roster cut-downs, Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott were temporarily the team's only backfield options, but both Harris and Ty Montgomery are now back in the mix and candidates to be promoted to New England's active roster ahead of Week 1.
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Performance Splits: 2020 to 2022
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Career Stats by Season: 2022 to 2022
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The Patriots have waived Harris, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Ahead of training camp, Harris had been looking to secure a depth role behind top back Rhamondre Stevenson, but now that Ezekiel Elliott is also in the Patriots' backfield mix, the 2022 sixth-rounder is the odd man out for now. If Harris goes unclaimed on waivers, he could resurface on the team's practice squad.
Harris started Friday's preseason game against the Titans and took seven carries for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Pierre Strong made it back from concussion protocol but played deep into the fourth quarter, while top RBs Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott were rested along with the rest of the starters. J.J. Taylor also got some snaps early in the game and finished with one carry for three yards and one catch for 10 yards. The Patriots likely will keep two RBs behind Stevenson and Elliott, with the candidates for depth roles being Harris, Strong, Taylor and Ty Montgomery (leg).
With Ezekiel Elliott having signed with the Patriots, Harris is now competing with Pierre Strong (undisclosed) and Ty Montgomery (leg) for depth slotting behind top back Rhamondre Stevenson.
Prior to the addition of Elliott, Harris was a candidate to secure early-down work when Stevenson needed a breather. However, with the proven veteran back now on board, Harris will now need to compete with Strong, Montgomery and even J.J. Taylor to earn complementary touches in New England's backfield out of the gate this season. Harris is thus off the fantasy lineup radar as long as both Stevenson and Elliott are healthy and available.
Harris rushed eight times for 10 yards in Thursday night's 20-9 loss to the Texans in the preseason opener.
Harris saw fellow tailback Pierre Strong start the game before coming in during New England's second offensive drive. While Strong totaled 33 yards on his nine touches, Harris barely averaged over one yard per carry and was not targeted. As he pushes for the Patriots' third-string tailback job behind starter Rhamondre Stevenson and backup Ty Montgomery (leg), Harris will strive for an improved showing in next Saturday's exhibition outing versus the Packers.
With the versatile Ty Montgomery still dealing with a leg injury, Chad Graff of the The Athletic indicates that Harris has logged more meaningful snaps in training camp than fellow 2022 draftee Pierre Strong.
While Rhamondre Stevenson's role as the team's top back is not in any doubt, Harris, Strong and Montgomery (when healthy) are currently in the mix to see complementary work this coming season. It's still possible that the Patriots could bring in a veteran such as Ezekiel Elliott, but if that doesn't happen, Harris could potentially end up carving out a role as Stevenson's primary understudy in early-down situations.
With Rhamondre Stevenson receiving a rest day, Harris took starting reps during Monday's practice, Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald reports.
Ty Montgomery (leg) was also absent from Monday's session, setting the stage for Harris, Pierre Strong and J.J. Taylor to see added reps. While Harris isn't a threat to overtake Stevenson as the Patriots' top back, as things stand, he could end up being next in line for early-down work in the event that Stevenson misses time down the road. Meanwhile, Strong and Montgomery (when healthy) remain in the mix for change-of-pace work out of the team's backfield.
In his second season as a pro, Harris has a chance to carve out a complementary role behind the Patriots' top back Rhamondre Stevenson, Evan Lazar of the team's official site reports.
Now that Damien Harris is no longer in the mix and the Patriots recently cut James Robinson, snaps that don't go to Stevenson are up for grabs in the team's 2023 backfield. While it's possible that New England could bring in another back, at this stage Kevin Harris (who logged 18 carries as a rookie) has a chance to emerge as an option to spell Stevenson on early-downs, while the versatile Ty Montgomery and 2022 fourth-rounder Pierre Strong figure to compete for third-down/change-of-pace touches. Per Lazar, Kevin Harris appears to be in "terrific shape" as the coming season approaches and has displayed "a noticeable extra burst this offseason."
Harris finished the 2022 season with 18 carries for 52 yards and a TD in five games.
As a rookie, the 2022 sixth-rounder saw limited action, with Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris handling the bulk of the Patriots' backfield duties. With Damien Harris slated to become a free agent this offseason, there could be carries available next season for Kevin Harris, as well as 2022 fourth-rounder Pierre Strong. Though Kevin Harris is no threat to overtake Stevenson as the team's top early-down option, the 5-foot-10, 225-pounder, who played his college ball at South Carolina, could potentially yield occasional fantasy utility in 2023, in the event that Stevenson misses time for any reason.