One name you don’t hear very often when discussing the New England Patriots’ backfield situation is that of Joey Iosefa. But the Hawaii product will be competing for at least a practice squad spot in training camp, so keep him in mind going forward. That the Patriots inked Iosefa to a futures deal in January indicates they intend to keep him around on the practice squad.
You may remember that Iosefa exploded in Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans, ripping off 51 yards on 14 carries. His day was highlighted by this bull rush of Titans’ cornerback Coty Sensabaugh:
Of course, it should be remembered why Iosefa broke into the lineup in the first place. By Week 15, the Patriots had just suffered the loss of LeGarrette Blount for the season, so the backfield was without a power rusher. Iosefa, at 245 pounds, resembles Blount’s 250-pound frame and mimics his downhill running style.
The re-signing of Blount indicates that Iosefa will likely end up on the practice squad again, but that is just fine. A good goal for Iosefa would be to prove his worth in training camp and land on his feet as a practice squad member, and then offer himself as a fill-in for Blount should the injury bug hit No. 29.
Look, Iosefa isn’t about to make a Pro Bowl, but it’s hard not to root for him. After being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Iosefa got the chop in training camp. He landed on his feet with the FXFL’s Brooklyn Bolts before the Patriots signed him to their practice squad in mid-October.
In closing, the value Iosefa offers is power back depth in the event the Blount gets hurt. Of course, he could become expendable if the Patriots draft a bruiser in the 2016 NFL Draft. But just keep Iosefa’s name in mind as the offseason plows on.