With Lance Dunbar likely lost for the season, now the attention will turn to Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Christine Michael. HC Jason Garrett said he expects all three to have their own roles this week when the Cowboys face the Patriots. He also said the running back-by committee approach might be altered somewhat with Dunbar’s setback.
“I think we’re always evaluating that, and it will happen naturally with Lance being out,” said Garrett. “We’ll look at it in practice and games, and we’ll look at what we’re asking guys to do. We’re constantly evaluating that stuff. We like to make it competitive, and we like guys to have to earn their opportunities each week and certainly within the ballgame. We anticipate (Michael) being a part of the mix this week along with Darren and Joe, and we’ll see how it goes as the week goes on.”
The story said the team likely isn't going to bring in another running back so it looks like Michael will get a shot. He's not the same kind of back as Dunbar, thus the reason the Cowboys would have to alter their committee approach.
It was expected Drew Brees would play Sunday night in Week 4. He's a risk, though, given his injury (bruised rotator cuff) but said leading up to the game he can make all the throws needed.
The team made the move in order to fit linebacker Jon Bostic onto the roster. Bostic, a third-year pro, was acquired in a trade with Chicago Monday.
Cadet suffered a hamstring strain during practice on Aug. 8 and missed virtually the entire month. Still, he made the initial 53-man roster, but was inactive in two of the Patriots' first three games.
He signed a two-year deal this past offseason after spending three years with the New Orleans Saints.
We just posted a news story Monday from a beat writer who said not to count out Cadet for a potential bigger, future role with the team. The Pats could still bring him back if he doesn't find work, but for now this is great news for Dion Lewis owners. James White is still a similar back on the NE roster but Lewis looks like he'll keep his role for a while.
The Chicago Bears traded outside linebacker Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers on Monday. According to an ESPN report, the Bears also traded inside linebacker Jonathan Bostic to the New England Patriots.
The Bears appear to be stocking up on future draft picks at the expense of players acquired by former general manager Phil Emery. ESPN's Dianna Marie Russini reports that more trades are on the way.
Running back Matt Forte is a prime candidate for a trade, since he's 29 years old and looking for a new contract. Martellus Bennett, a 28-year-old tight end who's unhappy with his contract situation, is another player who could conceivably end up on the trade block. This backs up a similar report we had in the news yesterday and it seems like it could impact some big-name fantasy players.
Surely, Lewis is one of the best stories in the NFL this season. He entered the NFL in 2011, and he has nearly twice as many yards from scrimmage in three games with the Patriots (325) than in 24 games with the Eagles (192).
When discussing Lewis, Fears mentioned another running back, Travaris Cadet, who missed virtually the entire month of August with a hamstring injury but still made the 53-man roster.
Fears first brought up Cadet when he was asked why Lewis didn't have success elsewhere before coming to New England.
"He might not have gotten a shot, or he could have been just like Cadet, pulled a hammy early and just missed too much of practices and all of a sudden you don't know," Fears said. "(Lewis) may have never really gotten a shot. It's just hard to get a shot once you get going into the season."
Three weeks in, Cadet has been inactive twice and has logged just one touch -- a receiver screen that went for two yards against the Bills. Given the way Lewis has played and the presence of LeGarrette Blount, it may be hard for Cadet to get a shot. As Fears said, "he's just got to take advantage of his opportunity when it comes."
The story pointed out: running backs are often injured, and opportunities come up for backups frequently. Look at Lewis' path: Cadet suffered his hamstring injury on Aug. 8, and Lewis returned from a hamstring injury of his own on Aug. 15. Blount, meanwhile, missed practice from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11 with a knee tweak. This isn't to say that Cadet needs an injury to occur for him to get on the field, the story added. His skill set is unique, and the Pats may very well see him as more of a receiver than a running back. In certain gameplans, Cadet's route-running ability could earn him significant snaps. One just never knows what the Pats will do, but they have a couple of options behind Lewis when it comes to pass-catching RBs.
Monday, September 28, 2015, 4:48pm
Marqise Lee say he could have played – and wanted to play – in the second half of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 51-17 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday despite tightness in his hamstring, but it was the medical staff’s decision to keep him on the sideline and not to risk further damage.
Why he wasn’t on the field really isn’t important at this point. The fact he wasn’t is the problem, and it has gotten to the point where the Jaguars are almost treating him the same way they do suspended receiver Justin Blackmon -- it’d be nice to have him, but they’re not counting on him.
Lee was listed as probable on Friday’s injury report because of his hamstring but downgraded to questionable on Saturday because of left knee soreness. He missed all of OTAs and minicamp with a left knee sprain.
The Patriots loosened up the Jaguars by primarily using Lewis in the first half, playing him on 28 of 36 offensive snaps. Blount wasn't much of a factor in the first half, on for just eight snaps, as the initial plan called for more spread passing formations and a sprinkling of runs from Lewis that included a dynamic 6-yard stop-and-start touchdown.
The Patriots took a 20-3 lead into halftime and then called on Blount as the closer. He played 21 snaps in the second half, compared to just seven for Lewis, powering in for three touchdowns and making plenty of fantasy football owners happy in the process.
By the end of the day, Lewis led all Patriots running backs with 35 snaps played. He finished with eight rushes for 37 yards and one touchdown, to go along with five catches for 30 yards. Blount wasn't far behind, totaling 29 snaps and 18 carries for 78 yards and three touchdowns, while adding one reception for 14 yards. It doesn't look like this combo is going away any time soon, but you just never know with the Patriots running game.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 3. He has a bad matchup with the Bills this week, though Dion Lewis was effective last week and Miller has a similar skill set. If Miller can’t play, Damien Williams likely sees the bulk of the carries. For what it’s worth, the Dolphins signed Jonas Gray from their practice squad, which may indicate that they’re worried about Miller’s availability for Week 3. Beat writer Omar Kelly said that Miller did “not look good running on that ankle” on Thursday.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (thigh, probable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 3. Hurns will be a Sneaky Start against the Patriots due to the likelihood that the Jaguars have to go pass-heavy to keep pace with New England. The fact that he’s probable is a great sign.
Despite fumbles, Patriots 'still high' on Dion Lewis, but expect 'a bit more' LeGarrette Blount in Week 3Friday, September 25, 2015, 11:49am
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss:
The Patriots are still high on shifty running back Dion Lewis despite his fumbling in each of the first two games of the season. At the same time, word is that we should see a bit more of LeGarrette Blount than we did Sunday against the Bills, when he played just seven snaps.
Lewis is on pace for 256 touches, and he's going to have a tough time holding up to that type of workload. We expect the Patriots will deploy Blount in favorable matchups, and Week 2's matchup against the Bills was not favorable. The Jaguars are only giving up 2.9 YPC, including 3.1 YPC to Jonathan Stewart and 1.4 YPC to Lamar Miller. So this week's matchup may not be as favorable as it might seem, given the competition.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Miller is considered “day to day” per beat writer Armando Salguero. He has a bad matchup with the Bills this week, though Dion Lewis was effective last week and Miller has a similar skill set. If Miller can’t play, Damien Williams likely sees the bulk of the carries. For what it’s worth, the Dolphins signed Jonas Gray from their practice squad, which may indicate that they’re worried about Miller’s availability for Week 3. Beat writer Omar Kelly said that Miller did “not look good running on that ankle” on Thursday.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (thigh) was added to the injury report Thursday after taking limited practice reps. Hurns will be a Sneaky Start if he can suit up against the Patriots due to the likelihood that the Jaguars have to go pass-heavy to keep pace with New England.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 6:12pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Miller is considered “day to day” per beat writer Armando Salguero. He has a bad matchup with the Bills this week, though Dion Lewis was effective last week and Miller has a similar skill set. If Miller can’t play, Damien Williams likely sees the bulk of the carries. For what it’s worth, the Dolphins signed Jonas Gray from their practice squad, which may indicate that they’re worried about Miller’s availability for Week 3.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 5:15pm
Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained how that ratio unfolds during a conference call today.
"We go into each game and that may change a bit based on how the game's going situationally and what the matchups are and what's working and what isn't," Belichick said. "I think when you look around the league, there were maybe two teams in the league, maybe one, I don't know how many, threw the ball less than they ran it. So every team was over 50 percent passing. Some teams were around 70 percent if I remember. The Bears, teams like that. That was last year.
"But, you know, that was kind of a general trend in the league. A lot of plays are based upon run, pass, checks in the league. Teams get into more coverage-type positions and that invites the run and vice versa. It's really hard to go and do this this many times or do that this many times. Each game is different and as you get into the game it just depends on how the game's unfolding, the score and the situation, but also how the matchups are working with the personnel you're facing and what type of defenses or coverages or pressures, how you want to attack those.
Belichick referenced games in the past in which the weather conditions dictacted a more run-based approach. He used past Bills games as examples, but he could have also referenced every Colts game since the 2013 season in which the Pats ran the ball more than they threw it to great success. It depends on the situation.
"It's kind of a long answer to a short question, but the bottom line is that if it works out that we're balanced, then it's great. And if it works out that we're favoring more of one than another, that's fine too."
You never know what you're going to get form the Pats. The fantasy negative to Julian Edelman was he didn't score TDs and he had two in Week 2. Dion Lewis wasn't put in the doghouse after a fumble and had more work than LeGarrette Blount. The Pats will continue to be one of more unpredictable offenses outside of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 1:26pm
When a running back fumbles the ball for the New England Patriots, he's typically put in the "dog house" and sidelined for some time. A second fumble nearly guarantees a spot on the bench.
Lewis fumbled the ball for the second time of the season, the first of which he's lost. Fortunately, it didn't come in crunch time as the Patriots were up 21-7 with more than 10 minutes left in the first half, but it's not exactly the best way to get on Bill Belichick's good side.
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