Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Patriots will be without Vereen against Jets


Shane Vereen was the New England Patriots' best skill position player in his team's Week 1 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Vereen, who amassed 159 yards from scrimmage on 21 touches, won't get an encore.

The third-year tailback underwent surgery Monday to repair a broken bone in his wrist, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. Vereen won't be a go when the Patriots host the New York Jets Thursday night.

"Losing him is a big shot," Patriots third-string back LeGarrette Blount said Monday, via Greg Logan of Newsday. "He was the most productive back on the team [Sunday]. We've got to find a way to fill his role."

Blount will certainly get ample opportunity to prove his worth in Vereen's absense, especially considering Steven Ridley's struggles. Ridley, the Patriots' top running back, was benched Sunday after losing the ball twice. One of his fumbles -- the only one that counted -- was returned by the Bills for a touchdown.

"I don't know how much of an opportunity it provides for anyone," Blount said. "It doesn't mean he's going to fumble every game. It's really discouraging to feel like they turned their back on you. I feel nobody does that. We're going to come right back to him this week."

Regardless of who carries the football, New England will have its hands full in the run game against a Jets defense that held Tampa Bay Buccaneers tailback Doug Martin to 2.7 yards a carry Sunday.

New England re-signed former Jet and multi-purpose back Leon Washington Saturday after cutting him prior to the regular season.

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