Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was benched after fumbling in the first quarter last week against the Broncos and was inactive on Sunday in Houston, but Bill Belichick says he’s not trying to send Ridley a message.
Instead, Belichick says, demoting Ridley to the bottom of the depth chart is simply a matter of putting the best players on the field for the Patriots.
“If I have a message to send to somebody, I’ll just sit down and talk to them and tell them what it is,” Belichick said when asked if he’s sending a message. “I can have a conversation and do have a conversation with anybody on the team that I need to have a conversation with. That’s not a problem. There’s no sending a message. You sit down and talk to somebody man-to-man and talk about the situation so that we’re all on the same page as to whatever it happens to be and what the direction is going forward. That’s easy. There’s not sending a message. You just have a conversation with somebody. This isn’t cryptic. We’re just trying to win a football game, that’s all.”
The Patriots had a four-man running back rotation of LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Shane Vereen and James Develin on Sunday. None of them ran the ball well, but Vereen is clearly the most valuable of the four in terms of fantasy. Even if Ridley is active Week 14 against the Browns, it's going to be hard to trust him until we see what kind of role he has - and of course he doesn't fumble. Since it's fantasy playoffs, time is running out for Ridley owners in terms of trusting him in your lineup.