Patriots Camp

Latest injury report on Patriots RB Pierre Strong Jr. is encouraging

The second-year running back should be back on the field soon.

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New England Patriots running back Pierre Strong Jr. was not available to play in Saturday night's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field because of an injury.

Fortunately for the Patriots, he should be back on the field pretty soon.

ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Sunday that Strong didn't travel to Green Bay because he was in the concussion protocol, but the plan is for the second-year running back to rejoin the team this week barring an "unexpected turn."

"Strong likely gets bumped down the depth chart with (Ezekiel) Elliott’s arrival, but it’s hard to imagine there still isn’t a role in which the 5-foot-11, 212-pound player's breakaway speed -- a notable contrast to (Rhamondre) Stevenson and Elliott -- can be tapped at times," Reiss wrote.

Strong didn't get many reps as a rookie last season. He ran the ball 10 times for 100 yards and one touchdown, in addition to seven receptions for 42 yards.

Strong's excellent speed, as Reiss notes above, is something he brings to the table that the other running backs on the depth chart do not. This makes him a little more valuable, if healthy, than someone like Kevin Harris.

The Patriots canceled their joint practices with the Tennessee Titans this week after the preseason game against the Packers ended early due to rookie defensive back Isaiah Bolden's injury. The Pats will practice outside Gillette Stadium for a few days and then travel to Nashville for Friday night's preseason finale versus the Tennessee Titans.

If Strong is able to play against the Titans, those reps could be very important to his case for making the 53-man roster ahead of Week 1.

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