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Patriots Make Official Decision On RB Damien Harris

Damien Harris on the field for the Pats.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 17: Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots warms up before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

The Patriots are going to be shorthanded at running back this Sunday when they take on the Browns. On Saturday afternoon, the Patriots officially ruled out Damien Harris due to a concussion.

Harris has been in concussion protocol this entire week. The team had held out hope that he could be cleared in time for kickoff, but clearly that won't be the case.

There's no question that Harris' absence will affect the Patriots' ground game. Coming into Week 10, Harris has 547 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 133 carries.

With Harris out this Sunday, the Patriots will need the rest of their backfield to step up. The problem with that, however, is Harris isn't the only running back on the Patriots who's in concussion protocol this week.

Rookie tailback Rhamondre Stevenson is currently listed as questionable due to a concussion. He played a large role in the Patriots' win over the Panthers last Sunday. Though he remains in concussion protocol, there's some level of optimism in New England that Stevenson will be able to play against the Browns. "The fact the Patriots ruled out Damien Harris, but not Stevenson, reflects there is still some level of optimism/hope from the team regarding Stevenson's availability," ESPN's Mike Reiss tweeted.

In the event that Stevenson is also ruled out, the Patriots will have to rely on Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor.

Kickoff for the Browns-Patriots game is at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.