Kickoff to the 2016 New England Patriots season is just 36 days away, so we are profiling one of the owners of the No. 36 jersey, running back Tyler Gaffney. Brandon King also wears the No. 36.
Size: 6-foot-1, 227 pounds
NFL experience: Two seasons
2015 stats: None
Since being selected by the Carolina Panthers with the No. 204 selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, Gaffney’s NFL career has been plagued by injuries. He has yet to be actually available in a regular season for the Panthers or Patriots to utilize. The Panthers cut Gaffney loose after tearing his lateral meniscus at the beginning of 2014 training camp; the Patriots were prudent enough to note Gaffney’s availability and snagged him before the Panthers knew what happened.
As a consolation to his injury-dominated rookie year, Gaffney earned a ring with the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. However, the new bling did not alter Gaffney’s luck on the injury front, as he suffered yet another season-ending injury last summer that forced the Patriots to place him on injured reserve. However, despite two seasons filled with bandaids, Gaffney was released and then re-signed by the Patriots this spring so they could alter his contract.
Recent installments in the series:
Thus far in training camp, Gaffney has been on the receiving end of increased work thanks to Dion Lewis being on the PUP list. Gaffney is being given an opportunity to compete with James White for the spot behind LeGarrette Blount in the event that Lewis starts the year on the PUP, which is looking increasingly likely.
Hopefully, Gaffney evades the training camp injury bug for the first time in his pro career. He runs with great intensity and power, which could provide a nice change-of-pace jolt to the Patriots’ backfield.
Tomorrow marks 35 days until the Patriots open 2016, so be sure to stop by Musket Fire as we profile the owner of the No. 35 jersey, undrafted rookie cornerback Cre’von Leblanc.