Dion Lewis: an open letter


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Dion Lewis,

My condolences. New England Patriots fans far and wide were disheartened yesterday when the news broke that you suffered the dreaded ACL tear, ending an outstanding season. I can’t speak for all of the fan base, but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that you quickly became one of my favorite players to watch in a matter of weeks.

When the Pats signed you on New Year’s Eve last year to a reserve/future contract, the move went virtually unnoticed. When Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley departed over the offseason, leaving the Patriots looking for answers at the running back position, your name didn’t come up that much. The 2015 NFL Draft came and went, and the Pats didn’t pick a running back. People were puzzled.

Travaris Cadet was signed during free agency and he was expected to assume Vereen’s role in the backfield. But you had other ideas.

In the “dress rehearsal” preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, you gave us an initial glimpse of your receiving capability, snagging a touchdown on a well-run slant route. That was just the beginning.

You were the leading rusher in the opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, churning out 69 yards on 15 carries. In addition, you caught four passes for 51 yards, again showcasing the receiving talent that forced Bill Belichick to cut Cadet and give you the starting nod above veterans Brandon Bolden and James White.

Over the course of the first two months, you totaled 622 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns, which was on-pace for 1,400 yards on the season. You provided a spark in the backfield unlike anything the Patriots have had since the Danny Woodhead days, although you are better than the current San Diego Charger.

Without a doubt, the highlight of your season was that nasty juke-duck-finish move you pulled against the Dallas Cowboys. Patriots fans grew to love watching you play.

I’m glad you got an extension before the ACL epidemic struck, as you deserve every ounce of security that the extension provides. I look forward to hearing positive updates regarding your recovery, and I look forward to watching you spin and slip your way through frustrated defenders next season.

May your recovery be speedy and complete. You will be missed, Dion.


A 5-foot-8 Patriots fan

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