Patriots fear RB Rex Burkhead tore ACL in loss to Texans

Ryan Young
·Writer

Rex Burkhead’s season is likely over.

The New England Patriots running back was carted off in their 27-20 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Sunday afternoon after taking a brutal shot to his knee early in the second half.

The team, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, fears that Burkhead tore his ACL. An MRI exam awaits.

Rex Burkhead carted off with knee injury

Just minutes into the third quarter on a third-and-1, Burkhead took a pitch in the backfield and bolted toward the sideline in an attempt to convert the first down. As he tried to extend the drive, Burkhead was brought down by Houston cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Justin Reid.

Roby, after Burkhead had jumped into the air, dove head-first and hit Burkhead’s right knee directly with his helmet while Reid finished the tackle to end the drive.

Burkhead’s knee bent awkwardly when Roby made contact, and he stayed down on the field for some time in pain after the play was over. He was eventually helped off the field and into the medical tent before a cart came out and took him into the locker room.

He was quickly ruled out of the game.

Burkhead finished with 7 yards on four carries and caught two passes for 5 yards. The 30-year-old has 267 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 63 carries so far this season, his eighth in the league and fourth with the Patriots. Burkhead is on a one-year, $3 million deal with New England.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t provide any specific update on Burkhead’s knee after the loss, saying only that they will “wait and get medical confirmation.”

“I’m hurt for him. I’m still hurting for him,” running back James White said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “[He’s] a good friend of mine, not just a teammate. … It’s just tough, man.”

Without Burkhead, the Patriots will lean on White and Damien Harris significantly more. The team also activated Sony Michel off the injured reserve list this week. Michel injured his quad against the Las Vegas Raiders in September and hasn’t played since.

Rex Burkhead of the New England Patriots
Rex Burkhead was carted off the field on Sunday in Houston after taking a shot to the knee. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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