How The New England Patriots Will Fare Without Dion Lewis


As you have probably heard by now, the New England Patriots will be without running back Dion Lewis for the rest of the season, as the team has placed him on the IR with a torn ACL. Lewis suffered the injury late in the third quarter against the Redskins on Sunday, and because of its non-contact nature, you could tell pretty much right away that the injury was ACL-related.

With Lewis now done, the Patriots will have to employ their ‘Next Man Up’ mantra, and for this particular situation, that would be running back James White. One of the most intriguing positional battles of the summer in New England was White vs. Lewis for the third down running back spot, and for awhile, it seemed like White actually had the edge. Obviously we now know Lewis was the better option, but the point is, White is more than capable of taking on this role.

While Lewis is much more explosive in space, and absolutely electric with his cuts, White is no scrub himself. He is a capable route runner, has good quickness and speed, can make plays between the tackles, and hopefully is good in pass protection. That is a key aspect of Lewis’ game that the Pats may miss, because keeping Tom Brady upright is always the number one option in Foxboro.

White was active and the top “scat back” option against the Jets this year as Lewis was out with an injury. White ran the ball two times for four yards, and caught the ball three times for 26 yards. I think he will improve as he gets more reps with the first team offense, and come playoff time, he will be another formidable weapon opposing defenses have to deal with. White will do fine in this role, and he will give Brady another mismatch at times, but others are going to have to step up as well. Danny Amendola will see more targets, as will Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler. These guys are great third and fourth options, and have proven in the past they can, and will win 1-on-1 matchups.