Patriots news & rumors: Damien Harris praised; Andy Isabella trade buzz

New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

The numbers may not be there, but New England Patriots running back Damien Harris is turning into quite the playmaker in his third season in the NFL.

With a hard running style and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, the Alabama product is latching onto his role as the lead running back.  If not for a couple of fumbles, Harris may look even more impactful as a playmaker.

If he stays healthy, Harris’ role should increase even more, especially with the respect he has earned from his teammates and his head coach.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Bill Belichick praised Harris for what he gives the team on a consistent basis.

"“Every play is not an 80-yard touchdown,” Belichick said, via  “Some of the best runs he’ll have are going to be five-yard gains, but that’s getting the most out of the play. Maybe there’s a play that’s blocked for one that he gets five out of. I think that’s what every player needs to do. Damien has done a good job of that, and whatever role we’ve asked him to take on, he’s embraced it and worked as hard as he possibly can to excel at it. He has a ton of respect from every player and coach in this organization, as he should because he’s earned that. That’s not something you get from talking or some kind of false image. You get it from day after day, consistent performance and dedication, and he’s the poster boy for that.”"

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After a 100-yard rushing performance against the Dallas Cowboys, Harris has a total of 331 yards on 81 attempts and 3 touchdowns.  That production should increase moving forward, especially since it appears that he is getting the ball in his hands more in the redzone.

NFL rumors: Patriots should make a move for Andy Isabella

With the recent addition of tight end Zach Ertz, the Arizona Cardinals are so loaded with playmakers that former second-round pick Andy Isabella is seeing most of his time on the inactive list.

Known as a speedster coming out of the University of Massachusetts, Isabella seems like the perfect candidate to revive his career with the New England Patriots.  According to, Isabella should be a player on the move.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport writes:

"“The former second-rounder has played in just two games this season, and he’s been mostly inactive. Yet, teams were calling Arizona to no avail about the speedster prior to the season. Expect those calls to increase as the trade deadline draws closer and if they don’t trade him, the Cardinals face the prospect of getting nothing for a former early pick who doesn’t appear part of their future.”"

The Patriots should be able to acquire Isabella for a late-round pick at this point so he shouldn’t cost much.  Given the team’s lack of a real slot receiver, Isabella would be a nice weapon for Mac Jones due to that quickness.

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With his familiarity to the New England region, it’s a move that could revive Isabella’s career and give the Patriots a talent at wide receiver to work with going forward.  While bigger names will be floated out there, Andy Isabella is one to watch at the NFL Trade Deadline.