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Should A Patriots’ Running Back Be Force-Fed During Brutal 2022 Schedule?

In 2021 the Patriots running backs were led by a combination of three running back Harris, Stevenson, and Bolden. What will the group look like this year?

Last year, the team was dealt a devastating blow early in the season as running back James White suffered a hip injury forcing Brandon Bolden to step up.

Filling in for White immediately and effectively. However, Bolden has moved on to another team forcing the Patriots to fill his spot on the team.

Harris Battles Stevenson For The Lead Running Back Spot

Being an essential year for running back Damien Harris is in the final year of his 4-year $3.6 million contract, which could lead to a surprise trade for the team. Stevenson enters his second season coming off a solid rookie year in which he had 606 yards and scored five touchdowns.

Now getting back to Harris he was amazing as he led the Patriots with 929 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns. Assuming Harris isn’t traded he should be the top back with Stevenson being the second back on the Patriots depth chart.

This multiple-headed attack could serve New England well once again keeping all the legs fresh and everyone healthy. I feel like Stevenson can carve out the Rex Burkhead role in year two, with his frame, balance, and athleticism Rhamondre could do it even better.

Regardless of who is the lead back, both players are going to get a lot of opportunities to shine.

Rhamondre Stevenson is so fun to watch. — Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) November 28, 2021

Who is going to be the 3rd down back?

Now as we touched on earlier in this article running back James White is coming off a serious hip injury and should open the season on the injured reserve opening up a spot for JJ Taylor or maybe even Pierre Strong whom the team drafted in this year’s draft.

I believe Strong will be the player to watch in that spot. So does Matthew Judon,

“Pierre Strong Jr. is a good athlete with good straight-line speed while showing good body control as a runner. In the passing game, he’s shown sufficient hands out of the backfield. He is a definite threat in space when he gets the ball on a check-down.” Matt Judon From 98.5 The Sports Hub

JJ Taylor is going into his 3rd season with the Patriots after signing as a UDFA in 2020. He has bulked up and could take over for White/Bolden in the 3rd down role this season.

This could bring Strong along slow as he learns the system and how to become a professional running back in the NFL. White should come along and be ready to join the running back stable in mid-year if all goes well with his rehab.

Brutal Battle Ahead For Remaining RB’s To Make The Cut

The Patriots signed veteran Ty Montgomery who has played with Green Bay and New Orleans and may be a factor on 3rd downs. Honestley he could be a factor lining up in the slot, Montgomery can also be used in the return game.

The 2022 seventh round draft pick Kevin Harris who showed power and great downhill running could also factor into the team’s plans to make the team especially if James White opens the season on the injured reserve list. If Damien’s contract situation gets interesting Kevin may be able to step up given a sudden departure.

In summary, the Patriots should have a top-tier group at running back led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson followed by Taylor, Montgomery, Strong, and Kevin Harris to make the final roster with James White to open on Injured Reserve.

Check out our other articles @ The Gillette Gazette

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