Monday, June 18, 2012, 11:27am
Who is ready to carry the rushing load for the Patriots? That is a question the defending AFC champions are not ready to answer.
Consider New England's ground attack a journey into the unknown. Its running back roster reads like a waiver wire scrap heap in fantasy football: Joseph Addai, Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. These four combine for nine career starts in New England. Addai, a free-agent signing, has 60 starts, but all were with the Indianapolis Colts.
None of them stand out on their own. However, the Patriots are hoping for strength by committee.
The conventional wisdom was that Ridley had the inside track, but Vereen has also been taking snaps with the first team and was drafted ahead of Ridley last summer, so there's a decent chance that the duo split carries. We've been slowly moving Ridley down in our rankings, so the better value at this point may be Vereen, who has been going in the 12th round this summer. However, if Ridley earns all (or most) of the goal line carries, he could hold BenJarvus Green-Ellis type value in 2012.
When asked how the Patriots intend to divvy up touches among RBs Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead and Joseph Addai, ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss said this: "If everyone's healthy, I think we'll see Ridley and Shane Vereen get the bulk of the work. I see Addai as a nice 'insurance' type of addition if Ridley and Vereen don't emerge, as well as a backup option for Danny Woodhead in the 'passing back' type of role. While I'd lean toward Ridley/Vereen getting more work, it's also safe to say we can expect the Patriots to mix it up from week to week, depending on the game-plan."
Reiss mentions Woodhead as the 'passing' back, so what we're looking at is a three-headed monster of Ridley and Vereen as rushers and Woodhead as the third-down back. That's still a RBBC, and it won't be pretty. Ridley figures to have the most value of the three (assuming he can hold onto the ball) due to his probable role as the team's goal-line back. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was fantasy relevant for the same reason. At this point, Reiss believes that Addai will only see the field for any significant time if one of the aforementioned RBs goes down.
Terms were not disclosed.
Addai joins Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead in an already muddled New England backfield. Ridley perhaps has the most upside as the favorite for early-down and goal line work.
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 3:19pm
Colts GM Ryan Grigson made it clear the team has little interest in re-signing any of the veterans it released in March, primarily tight end Dallas Clark, linebacker Gary Brackett, running back Joseph Addai and safety Melvin Bullitt. All were part of the initial roster purge following the 2-14 finish.
"At some point, maybe you revisit it,'' Grigson said. "We're confident with the decisions we made at the time. We still are and we're moving forward.''
We're expecting Donald Brown and Delone Carter to share the backfield duties for the Colts.
This is potentially good news for Jacob Tamme and Donald Brown and/or Delone Carter. Tamme caught 67 passes for 631 yards and four TDS over the final 10 games of 2010 filling in for an injured Clark. Of course, he won't have Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. Brown flashed some good potential in 2011, scoring five TDs in a nine-game span and rushing for 4.8 YPC on the season.
Monday, December 12, 2011, 10:08am
Addai ran twice for 16 yards and caught one pass for no gain. He was very much a situational specialist.
"Going into the game, coach (Jim Caldwell) wanted me to rest and kind of take a little bit of (a break for) the hamstring and if we'd get in big third-down situations, that's when I'd go in," Addai said. "That was the game plan."
Addai has missed four of the past eight games with a hamstring injury.
Donald Brown rushed nine times for 28 yards and has taken over the lead back role. He's okay to use in certain matchups, but it was pretty obviously this week against the Ravens wasn't one of them.
Friday, December 2, 2011, 5:54pm
Colts RB Joseph Addai (hamstring, questionable) missed practice Friday and is questionable for Week 13. Addai was added to the Indianapolis injury report so he probably re-aggravated his injury in practice. Look for Donald Brown to see most of the work out of the Indianapolis backfield.
Friday, November 25, 2011, 6:03pm
Colts RB Joseph Addai (hamstring, questionable) took full practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 12. Beat writer Phillip B. Wilson speculates that Addai may play, but he doubts he'll get a heavy workload since he's still complaining about pain in his hamstring. Look for Donald Brown to see most of the touches for the Colts.
Friday, November 25, 2011, 5:08pm
Colts beat writer Phillip B. Wilson on RB Joseph Addai: "Because the Colts shipped RB Darren Evans back to practice squad means they at least think Addai could be an emergency third back. I don’t think they go into the game with just two healthy RBs. While Addai was a full go in practice all week, he has said the right hammy is still sore. The hunch is he dresses, but I tend to doubt a full workload, if much. Expected to play."
The reason Addai's status is important is how it impacts Donald Brown, who headed into the Colts' bye as the team's RB1. The matchup against the Panthers is terrific, so whoever gets the bulk of the touches has a chance to post a solid fantasy line. The Colts play at 1:00 PM ET.
Joseph Addai remains hopeful of playing Sunday against Carolina.
“My leg is feeling better,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “Before, it just felt like a big knot in [his right thigh]. Now it just feels a little sore. So we’re going to wait and see how I feel [today] and then decide what we’re going to do on Sunday.
“I want to play. I don’t care what our record is or anything like that. I just want to get back out there playing again. I love to play and I’d like to be out there. I’ll do whatever they [the Colts coaches] tell me to do.”
If Addai is inactive or is only an "emergency" option, Donald Brown will become a sneaky start against the Panthers' dreadful rush defense. Brown has out-touched Delone Carter 46 to 21 in the last three games.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 7:20pm
Colts RB Joseph Addai (hamstring) practiced fully Wednesday. The full practice indicates that Addai may be ready to make his return to the lineup. The Colts have a terrific matchup against the Panthers, so whoever runs the ball for Indy has a chance to make some noise.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 1:13pm
Donald Brown was shaping up to be a sneaky start, but if Addai can practice without setbacks all week, that honor will go to him. The Panthers have given up the most Adjusted FP to RBs this season.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 9:49am
Colts coach Jim Caldwell said running back Joseph Addai's possible return after missing four of five games with a hamstring injury is "a possibility." But the coach had yet to speak to the Colts' third-leading rusher today. Players were to report for a team meeting by 2 p.m.
"Haven't seen him yet today but I'm sure they'll get their hands on him and we'll get an assessment a little later on," Caldwell said.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 10:33am
It doesn't appear Addai is mailing it in after the Colts' 0-10 start. Donald Brown is currently the top RB in Indy, but that's not saying much as the Colts' offense has been dreadful.
Saturday, November 12, 2011, 6:03pm
Most owners who have Addai have already sought other alternatives. Donald Brown and Delone Carter are uninspiring flex plays, especially with zero teams on bye this week.
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