New England Patriots will have six players on the active PUP (physically unable to perform) list heading into training camp. One of them is running back Sony Michel.

Michel, a key component to run game

Michel rushed the ball well for the Patriots as a rookie last season. He ran for 931 yards and two touchdowns. His best game of the season came against the New York Jets on November 25. In that game, he carried the ball 21 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns according to statistics from Pro Football Reference. He truly showed that he could be a dependable back last season, and he is looking to build off that in 2019.

Thomas is listed as well

Demaryius Thomas is perhaps the other most recognizable name on this list. He was acquired by the Patriots on April 16, 2019. He has proven to be a productive player throughout the course of his career, as he has played in 127 career games, starting 113 of them. According to Bleacher Report, Thomas has 672 receptions and 9,154 receiving yards. He certainly has proven to be a dependable target for any quarterback who has thrown to him. Having Tom Brady as a quarterback should only increase those numbers.

What does this mean?

The health status of Sony Michel could be something to watch heading into the 2019 season. He has already struggled a bit [VIDEO] with injury problems this early in his career, and I'm beginning to wonder if this is going to be a recurring problem throughout the course of his career.

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New England Patriots

Luckily, the Patriots have a fair amount of depth at the running back position. James White and rookie Damien Harris are just two of the names that have the potential to fill Michel's role.

Watch the progress of Harris closely, as he could be someone the New England Patriots have to use more often than originally thought. He certainly is used to handling a starting role, having been a big part of Alabama's offense in college.

He could take on a bigger role than originally expected.

For now, Michel's health should not worry Patriots fans too much. It should only be a worry if he has to sit out Week 1. Not only would he miss the first six games of the season, but it would also raise questions about if he is healthy enough to go for the rest of the season. Hypothetically, if he was not able to go, that would be very concerning.

This list, although lengthy, is not the best news for Patriots fans. It is still a bit too early to push the panic button. We'll have to see how their injuries progress, either for better or for worse, throughout the course of the preseason. Luckily, New England has enough depth at multiple positions to withstand the injury bug. For their sake, it is probably better that these injuries occurred during the preseason, then in the middle of heated competition mid-season.

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