Pats Beat: James White should see 'major' role

Patriots RB Dion Lewis is facing a second knee surgery and will begin 2016 on PUP, according to CSNNE's Tom Curran. Again, James White is poised for a major role.

About the only positive in a day littered with bad injury news for the Patriots: Thus far in the preseason, White has displayed a consistent ability to make defenders miss in space, as we saw on a 14-yard screen pass against the Bears that probably should have gone for a loss.

With Lewis facing a second knee surgery, as first reported by The Globe's Jim McBride, White should be considered a roster lock. He'll have a significant role in the Patriots' offense until Lewis returns.

White can give the Pats maybe 60 percent of what Lewis provided purely as a receiver, but there is no one on the roster that will replace Lewis' production as a runner from spread formations. On 1st-and-10, the Patriots could put Brady in the shotgun, flank him with Lewis and trot out four wide receivers. And from that formation, they could either pass or run.

Fantasy Impact: 

The story went on to say the Pats may have to show their cards now. When White is in the game, the Patriots are probably passing. When LeGarrette Blount is in the game, they're probably running. The story made a case for Donald Brown, who can be considered a mix of both runner and receiver and perhaps keep defenses on their toes. But Brown hasn't been able to stay healthy and hasn't practiced in camp nor played in a preseason game.

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