Through the first five games of the year, Patriots running backs have fumbled four times, including Damien Harris twice inside the 10-yard line.
The latest came Sunday against Houston when Harris fumbled as he went into the end zone, leading to a touchback. Afterwards, Texans coach David Culley said late in the game his defense didn't let the Patriots score because they had a feeling they could rip a ball free from one of their running backs.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears was honest about the fumbling issues to open the year.
"That's our reputation right now," he said. "That's not a secret. Now, let's be honest. It would be crazy for anybody to think anything other than that. We've turned the ball over on key situations going in for scores. That would have given us two games by now. That would have made the difference in two games. So that is a fact that we've got to deal with and we're gonna have to -- it's gonna take us all year to get that out of people's mind. All year.
"And believe me, we're going to be working at it, it's not something where anybody's happy about. I don't think the players are happy about it, we're not happy about it. But we've got to -- the only way you change that stat is you do it during play. That's when you change it."
As for an injury update on Harris, who left Sunday's game with rib/chest injuries, Fears didn't have one.
"Well we're not sure," he said. "Today is a big day to find out exactly where, you know, what we expect from him this week. It's still early for me. I don't get a lot of reports from them at this point, all we know is what we're that he's basically going to be fine. Just, we'll have to see. We'll have to see how he feels when he's out there and practicing, running around and going after it."
The Patriots will host the Cowboys this Sunday afternoon.