11:58 AM ET
Coach Bill Belichick foreshadowed Michel’s return Wednesday, saying Michel was working hard and would “hopefully” be coming back. The Patriots have made a decisive turn toward a power running approach in recent weeks — led by Harris and an athletic, hard-nosed offensive line — so having a stocked running back depth chart aids that approach.
Harris, who stepped in after Michel injured his quad in a win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 27, leads the Patriots with 471 yards on 85 carries (5.5 yards per carry) with one touchdown.
Harris has been playing through chest and ankle injuries, so Michel provides insurance alongside veteran Rex Burkhead and pass-catching back James White. Rookie J.J. Taylor, who made the roster as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona, is a fifth option who is on more of a developmental track.
The Patriots (4-5) visit the Houston Texans (2-7) on Sunday, and the rushing attack figures to be a central part of the game