Sony Michel missed the entire season due to a knee injury, and had fluids drained from his knee. The running back was a limited participant in practice, and the coaching stuff will have to make a decision on his game. However, Michel says he’s preparing like he’ll play in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Michel wasn’t active in the regular-season opener against the Texans, but head coach Bill Belichick believes his first-round rookie has improved a lot.
“Yeah, he gets better every day. Again, he missed a lot of plays in training camp and in training camp practices. He’s gotten more of a chance to be involved with those more recently, and each time he runs them, he sees something a little different or reacts a little bit quicker or whatever it is and he gains more confidence by doing something, multiple, double-digit times instead of just a couple times. So, just reacting quicker and being more decisive,” Belichick said of the running back.
But, how will Michel get used to the physicality of the game. He missed the exhibitions and Week 1, and hasn’t felt much contact.
“Yeah, but I mean, I think that’s pretty much the case for a lot of running backs. I mean, you see a lot of running backs don’t carry the ball much in preseason. Now, those guys have carried the ball a lot at other points, maybe in previous years or – I don’t think [Saquon] Barkley, I don’t know, how many times did he carry it in preseason? So, yeah, I think that’s not – look, it’s something that those guys have to deal with, and they’ve dealt with it a lot,” the head coach added.
“Sony’s had a lot of carries. He’s been hit a lot. Does he have to get used to it and have it happen to him again? Yeah, of course, but I’d say the bigger part of it for him is the offense, the assignments, the decision making, the timing of the blocking, timing of his running with the blocking patterns and so forth. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re not going to do a lot of live work in practice, so he’ll have to get it during the game. It’s no different with receivers. I mean, they don’t get hit after they catch the ball in practice. They get hit after they catch the ball every time in the game unless they get out of bounds. So, you know, that’s part of it, too, that you just build into it, and it’s part of what this part of the season is for. Guys get more of that than they’ve had in the last six months.”
Is Belichick right about the running back?