Ripple effects of Patriots placing Dion Lewis on PUP

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots placed Dion Lewis on the physically unable to perform list yesterday.

Field Yates was the first to report on this news:

Here are some ripple effects of Lewis starting the season on the PUP:

There is officially a spot open on the running back depth chart.

We’ve been expecting Lewis to end up on the PUP for some time, but now it is official: the Patriots will add a new face to their existing running back group of LeGarrette Blount, James White, Brandon Bolden and James Develin. It could be Tyler Gaffney, Joey Iosefa or D.J. Foster, depending on what the Patriots desire in a depth backfield fixture. For reasons you are about to read this writer is keen on Gaffney…

Predicting Patriots final depth chart, preseason Week 4 edition

Tyler Gaffney primed to make the roster.

Most likely, the Patriots are going to give the oft-injured Gaffney his much-deserved chance in the NFL by adding him to the Week 1 roster. After Blount, there is room for improvement on the ball carrying front; Bolden is best suited for spot duty, and James White is more valuable in the passing game. Speaking of White…

James White will be the primary pass catching back.

Pre-ACL injury Lewis was a substantially better receiving back than White, but now that Lewis is missing an entire calendar year of football, White is the main target for Jimmy Garoppolo and/or Tom Brady out of the backfield. And it’s not like that is much of a downgrade; White is respectably threatening receiver and open-field runner in his own right.

What’s going to happen when Lewis comes off the PUP in Week 7?

Assuming the Patriots deem Lewis fit to play after six weeks, the Patriots will most likely demote on a game-by-game basis. If Gaffney or White or Iosefa (whoever makes the Week 1 roster and sticks around) is playing great, the Patriots may look to downsize at another position. In the meantime, let’s hope that Lewis heals fast and comes back in prime shape.

Next: These 8 players will help Jimmy G win

Go Pats.