As was expected, the Patriots have received a roster exemption on running back Brandon Bolden, who served the final of a four-game suspension on Sunday, according to a league source. The exemption lasts until Tuesday, Dec. 11, the day after the Patriots' Monday night game with the Houston Texans.
That means the Patriots will have up until next Tuesday to decide what to do with the running back, who missed time prior to his suspension due to a knee injury suffered in Week 6 against Seattle. Assuming Bolden is healthy enough to play again this season, it would figure that the team will activate him to the 53-man roster.
Assuming he is activated at some point, I think Bolden will regain a role on the team. Bolden provides something that no other Patriots back on the roster does: the ability to move piles. Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead are scat-back types, and while Stevan Ridley does possess size and powers, he's more likely to break tackles than move piles. Bolden is the type who can drive his legs, move defenders, and be a valuable short yardage back. For the year, Bolden has 43 carries for 234 yards and two touchdowns.
In unrelated news, practice squad tackle Matt Kopa has been signed off the team's practice squad to the 53 man roster of the Philadelphia Eagles. Last week, the team lost Sterling Moore to the Cowboys. The week before, they had Greg Salas claimed off waivers by the Eagles (they likely intended on placing him back on the practice squad).