N’Keal Harry, it appears, is finally ready to make his NFL debut with the New England Patriots.
The Patriots activated the rookie wide receiver to their 53-man roster, according to the Boston Globe, after he spent the first half of the season on injured reserve. He had a travel bag packed in front of his locker on Friday, too, ahead of the Patriots’ game on Sunday night against the Ravens in Baltimore.
Harry left a joint practice with the Detroit Lions early in August with a leg injury, and then aggravated it again in a preseason game just two days later. The Patriots officially placed him on IR with an ankle injury before Week 1.
The former Arizona State standout — who recorded more than 2,200 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final two years there — returned to practice on October 15, and seems to have impressed coach Bill Belichick.
“I think he works hard — special-teams role, offense,” Belichick said, via ESPN.
It’s unclear where, and how much, Harry will jump into the Patriots’ system midway through the year. Quarterback Tom Brady has plenty of options at receiver with Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu and Philip Dorsett. Harry, though, was the second wide receiver off the board when the Patriots picked him up with the No. 32 overall pick — marking the first time the organization has selected a receiver in the first round since 1996. Clearly, the Patriots have high hopes for the 21-year-old.
As Brady noted, however, it may still be a bit before he makes an impact.
“He’s missed a lot of football, missed a lot of training camp, missed eight regular-season games, so he’s just got to try to work at it every day, and it’s going to be up to him to put the effort in,” Brady said, via ESPN. “Everyone’s there to help him, but you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to do it and earn it and earn the trust of your teammates and coaches and stuff. It’s good to have him out there.”
More from Yahoo Sports: