Patriots RB Rex Burkhead scores with Mike Gillislee still sidelined

Tight end Rob Gronkowski spent a lot of time run blocking for Rex Burkhead in his first preseason action since 2012.

Burkhead was making his first game appearance for the Patriots and the wasted no time getting him involved in the offense. Burkhead carried seven times for 20 yards and caught a pair of passes from Tom Brady during his time on the field.

The second of those catches was a 22-yard touchdown in the second quarter and ended the night for many of the Patriots offensive regulars. James White was also involved early and Dion Lewis took over the running duties once Jimmy Garoppolo entered at quarterback with Mike Gillislee not in the lineup.

Related players: Tom Brady, James White, Dion Lewis

Fantasy Impact: 

We believe Mike Gillislee is the most talented early-down option for the Patriots and offers double-digit touchdown upside, but a hamstring injury is keeping him off the field. He needs to get healthy, or it is not out of the realm of possibility that Burkhead wins this job. With fantasy drafts fast approaching, this backfield needs to be monitored very closely. If you are going to use a 5th/6th-round pick on Gillislee, it's probably wise at this point to draft Burkhead late too.

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