Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (22) runs out of the tackle of Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots to move forward with running back by committee?

New England Patriots starting running back Stevan Ridley leads the league in fumbles (from non-quarterbacks), something that understandably doesn’t sit well with head coach Bill Belichick. Ridley has been benched for his fumbles before, though, the benchings never lasted more than a game or so – usually no more than a half.

That might be changing after Ridley’s most recent cause of fumbleitis on Sunday night as Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston believes the Patriots will shift to a committee approach going forward:

That said, in the short term, I think it’s fair to assume that the days of Ridley playing a running back-high 45 percent of the offensive snaps, as he did last year, are over. Too risky. I’d expect to see more of a rotation with Ridley, LeGarrette Blount (also a ball-security risk) and Brandon Bolden in that big-back role.

Of course, you never really know with Belichick and Ridley, fumbles or not, is likely the best runner out of that grouping and is the most effective when he’s not laying the ball on the ground.

Either way, few are more plugged in to the Patriots outside of Reiss so his suggestion that a committee approach may be coming should be taken with some merit.

Tags: Brandon Bolden LeGarrette Blount New England Patriots Stevan Ridley