New England Patriots

Pats elevate Malik Cunningham to active roster for Steelers game

Cunningham has played only six snaps this season.

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Malik Cunningham is back on the New England Patriots roster for their Thursday Night Football matchup vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The undrafted quarterback/wide receiver was elevated from the practice squad hours before the 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff. Running back Kevin Harris also was elevated to replace Rhamondre Stevenson, who suffered a high-ankle sprain in the team's Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Cunningham was on the active roster for Sunday's loss to L.A. but did not see the field despite having a package of plays designed for him. The Louisville product has played only six snaps this season, all in the Patriots' Week 6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. He played four snaps as a wide receiver and two as a QB but did not attempt a pass.

Bailey Zappe will make his second consecutive start for the Patriots in Pittsburgh. If the 2022 fourth-rounder struggles again after failing to put New England on the scoreboard vs. the Chargers, Cunningham could get an opportunity to showcase the talent he displayed in the preseason.

During the Patriots' exhibition vs. the Houston Texans, Cunningham went 3-for-4 through the air for 19 yards with his lone incompletion being a drop from wideout Tre Nixon that would have resulted in a 22-yard touchdown pass. He added five rushes for 34 yards, including a nine-yard TD.

With a 2-10 record entering Thursday's game, the Patriots have nothing to lose except a top-three pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. It couldn't hurt to give Cunningham some snaps under center, especially if the Patriots' historic offensive woes continue in the first half.

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