In the wake of LeGarrette Blount’s season-ending hip injury in Week 14, the New England Patriots were severely undermanned at running back. They called on the services of veteran Steven Jackson, who had been out of football for the entire season.
Jackson appeared in the final two regular season games of the year, rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. His best play was a 20-yard catch and run against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.
Playing in his first postseason action since his rookie season 11 year prior, Jackson churned out just 24 carries and a touchdown on 10 carries against the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.
From the Steven Jackson vault:
Look, Jackson will go down as one of the best running backs of this century, but it’s time for him to hang up the cleats for good. Give the 12-year veteran respect for staying in shape throughout the 2015 season and giving it one last go at a Super Bowl ring, but the Patriots are better off letting Jackson walk and investing in the backfield via the draft.
The Patriots are three-fourths of the way toward an awesome backfield. Brandon Bolden is a standout special teamer and Dion Lewis and James White are excellent change-of-pace options and dynamic receiving targets. The just need that power back to round-out the group.
Instead of sticking with an older guy like Blount or Jackson, the Pats should start fresh. C.J. Prosise comes to mind as an intriguing downhill runner in the 2016 draft class.
In case you missed it, here is our Yes/No free agent profile of linebacker Dekoda Watson. Be sure to check back on Musket Fire each day for analysis on all of the Patriots’ free agents in which we answer the question of whether or not the Patriots should re-sign said player.