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Stevan Ridley Injury: Where do the Patriots turn next?

Examining how the Patriots could handle the running game if Stevan Ridley is out for the year, as is feared.


If New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley's season is over with a torn ACL as is feared, where does the team turn at the running back position? Let's take a look at the options:

Shane Vereen: The Patriots could choose to increase Vereen's workload as a between-the-tackles runner. Vereen has been up-and-down in that kind of role before, but using him in an increased capacity certainly makes some sense.

Brandon Bolden: Bolden received the every-down reps once Ridley went down against the Bills. He isn't a game changer, but he has size and power and is arguably the team's best short yardage back. He also had a stint as the team's 3rd down back when Vereen was injured in 2013.

James White: White has been active for and played in just one game this year (week 4 vs. Kansas City). The 4th round pick has more upside than Bolden, but has yet to prove he can be relied on as a contributor.

Jonas Gray: Gray was a standout player for the Patriots in the preseason, but lost out on a roster spot to Bolden because of his lack on contributions on special teams. With a spot on the depth chart likely to be opened, he's not a bad bet for a practice squad promotion.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Green-Ellis is a free agent, and past his prime at age 29. He's battling a hip injury, and several teams have been interested in him once healthy. He knows the Patriots' system, his skillset compliments Vereen well, and he would come at a minimum-level salary.

Other free agent options: Michael Bush, Willis McGahee, Tashard Choice

What are your thoughts? How would you like to see the Patriots handle the running game if Stevan Ridley is done for the year?