The New England Patriots aren’t special in a sense that they have to deal with injuries. Everyone in the NFL has to, and there are quite a few teams that have been bitten harder by the injury bug to see their seasons destroyed. But a struggling running game has now lost LeGarrette Blount for the entire season.
Blount played a big part in the Patriots steamrolling the Indianapolis Colts in last season’s AFC Championship game. He led the team with 703 rushing yards and six touchdowns, which is something the Patriots could normally live without, only their backups don’t seem to be too impressive, unless this is another opportunity for Bill Belichick to show that he can make this offense tick with just about anyone as long as Tom Brady is playing quarterback, and Rob Gronkowski isn’t injured.
The hip injury which happened in the win over the Houston Texans means there’s no more Blount this season, and it’s Brandon Bolden, James White and maybe Montee Ball, who got cut by the Denver Broncos but was picked up and signed to the practice squad. The 25-year old Bolden has been with the Patriots as a backup running back since 2012, and has rushed for 110 yards this season on 35 carries, while also catching 10 passes for 127 yards for a couple of touchdowns. James White, another former Wisconsin player like Ball, has carried the ball just 16 times this season for 41 yards, but has been a lot more active as a receiver with 26 receptions for 248 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Ball was a star for Wisconsin but has been a disappointment in the NFL, rushing for 731 yards in two seasons with the Broncos, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and scoring five touchdowns. He has been linked to other teams in the offseason and through the 2015 season, but nothing really came out of it. Now the Patriots, running out of players at the position, might give him a chance to rekindle his almost dying NFL career.
The Patriots already lost running back Dion Lewis for the season and are without starting left tackle Nate Solder for the rest of the year. Gronkowski has just come back from being injured which helped the Patriots lose two games, and Julian Edelman, Brady’s favorite target, is out until the end of the regular season. Good thing the Patriots have clinched a playoff spot, and now the only thing left to be determined is if they clinch home field advantage throughout.