When the New England Patriots decided to bench their lead-back, Stevan Ridley, after his costly lost fumble in the second quarter of Sunday’s 2-point win over the Buffalo Bills, it looked like third-year running back Shane Vereen was on the verge of taking over the lead-role. Vereen totaled 159 yards from scrimmage, including a career-best 101 yards rushing on just 14 carries, and seven receptions for 58 yards.
But late in the game, Vereen broke a small bone in his wrist and it was originally reported he was expected to miss just a few weeks.
Now, it appears he’ll be at longer than originally anticipated:
Patriots place RB Shane Vereen (dislocated bone in wrist) on Injured Reserve/designated to return. See him Week 8, at earliest
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 10, 2013
With Ridley set to keep his lead role, expect to see a heavy dose of he and Legarrette Blount, who all of the sudden is a viable fantasy option once again.
you may remember Blount’s big fantasy year in 2010, when he amassed 1,007 rushing yards and six touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The hefty 250-pound bruiser was expected to resume a larger role the following season, but he instead veered in the opposite direction, gaining 781 rushing yards as his yards per carry dropped from 5.0 to 4.2, and eventually became nothing more than a situational back behind Doug Martin.
If Blount can prove himself as a receiver, he will remain an option going forward on third downs until Vereen is healthy. This gives him some value in deeper fantasy leagues, and he’s definitely someone you need to consider if you’re in need of a RB.