When the New England Patriots cut their roster from 77 to 53 players on Saturday, they also parted ways with veteran running back Lamar Miller. While he was seen as a candidate to eventually be brought back either to the active team or the 16-man practice squad — teams can carry up to six veterans this year — the 29-year-old remains unaccounted for at this time.
While the Patriots have been quiet so far, it seems as if another AFC East team has set its sights on Miller, though: the Buffalo Bills will workout him out, as general manager Brandon Beane confirmed during a press conference on Monday. Beane, according to Buffalo Rumblings’ Anthony Marino, also said that the visit was explanatory and the ninth-year man was not at the facility because he had not cleared the team’s Covid-19 protocols yet.
Whether or not the workout will lead to Miller getting offered a contract remains to be seen, but the Patriots will surely keep a close eye on the situation.
The team, after all, worked with the former Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans back over the course of its training camp after he originally arrived in New England in mid-August. Given that he was still rehabbing at the time from the ACL and MCL injuries he suffered almost a year earlier, the Patriots decided to move him to their physically unable to perform list (PUP) immediately after the signing was made official.
Miller went on to spend 17 days on the list before returning to practice and being reactivated to the active roster again. While his return to practice was a positive sign, the Patriots apparently did not have him in their immediate plans as evidenced by his release.
“We wanted to give him a little taste of being bounced around a little bit. He’s done a great job,” New England running backs coach Ivan Fears said about Miller earlier this month. “I really expect Lamar to bounce back and be the guy he was, but I’m sure that’s going to take a little time.”
While Miller is not on the Patriots’ roster and able to explore other opportunities, the team itself is heading into the regular season with five running backs under contract: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris are on the active roster at the moment with undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor part of the practice squad. Harris, however, is dealing with a finger injury that could lead to him missing the early portions of the regular season.