Another offseason, another knee surgery for Sony Michel

According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the Patriots‘ second-year running back underwent a knee scope that explains his recent absence from one OTA and all of mandatory minicamp last week. However, Howe reported that Michel is expected to be ready to go in time for training camp. Howe also described the scope as “minor in nature.”

Even though Michel should be healthy enough to play later this summer, it’s not wrong to be at least a little concerned over Michel’s most-recent surgery. After all, this isn’t his first knee problem.

As Howe noted in his story, Michel tore his ACL in high school and hurt his knee in college. Before the Patriots drafted him in the first round of last year’s draft, there were concerns over his knee and how a “bone-on-bone condition” would impact his career in the long term. In August, Michel underwent knee surgery, which forced him to miss the beginning of his rookie season. He suffered another knee injury during the season.

When Michel was healthy enough to play, he looked like a player worthy of his first-round billing. In 13 games, he rushed for 931 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. In three playoff games, he added 336 yards and six touchdowns — including the only touchdown scored in the Super Bowl. Assuming he’s healthy enough to play by September, he should be the Patriots’ primary ball carrier while James White functions as their top pass-catching back. 

The Patriots’ depth at running back should serve them well as they attempt to make a fourth straight trip to the Super Bowl. In addition to Michel and White, the Patriots will also likely lean on veteran Rex Burkhead and third-round rookie Damien Harris. It’s one of the deepest running back groups in all of football.

But again, there’s enough of a history of knee injuries to be worried about Michel. As is also the case with Todd Gurley and his knee, it’s concerning any time a running back has a knee problem.