New England Patriots backup running back Shane Vereen is geared up for a larger role in the offense this upcoming season due to his explosiveness and dangerous pass-catching ability. Vereen suffered an injury to his left foot against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, and Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald has tweeted that a source said Vereen’s injury “is not serious”.
This is, of course, great news, with Vereen expected to be a key part of the Patriots running game next year as Stevan Ridley’s backup. While Danny Woodhead is a better pass-catcher and is nearly as good with a similar skill-set, Vereen is a better pure rusher and holds that importance. With BenJarvus Green-Ellis gone, the onus is on these two second-year backs to pick up the pace. They have more upside than “The Law Firm” with their uniqueness and explosiveness.
Losing Vereen would be a test to the Patriots running back depth, a position that still isn’t settled due to the battle between fullback Eric Kettani and undrafted running back Brandon Bolden for a roster spot. The recent cuts have made it look like both have a good shot at making the roster, but it’s still anyone’s game. It looks like Vereen will be ready for the first preseason game, and I consider him a lock to make the Patriots 53-man roster.
In other Patriots news, the equipment being shipped to Brian Waters locker shows that he is likely on the way back which is huge for the offensive line. Couple that with the release of center Dan Koppen, and it truly does look like that the Pats O-Line should be in great shape with the probable addition of the top right guard.
The Pats also released cornerback Derrick Martin, who was a longshot to make the roster anyway.
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