There are quite a few connections between the New England Patriots and their Week 17 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars. One of those comes in the form of running back Devine Ozigbo, who is currently a member of the Patriots’ practice squad after spending the majority of his career so far in Jacksonville.
Ozigbo has yet to appear in a game since arriving in New England in late November. However, he still appears to be quite happy with his current role. In fact, he reportedly even turned down a recent offer to return to the Jaguars’ 53-man roster.
According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Jacksonville attempted to bring the 23-year-old back into the fold ahead of Week 15. Ozigbo turned the offer down, even though it would have guaranteed him at least three game checks. He was eventually elevated to the game-day roster for the Patriots’ contest against the Indianapolis Colts later that week but did not play any snaps.
Why did he do decide to stay put? In part because of “his belief that he’s improving as a player under Patriots running backs coaches Ivan Fears and Vinnie Sunseri.” The fact that he was born in Boston might have also factored into the decision.
Either way, Ozigbo apparently values working with Fears and Sunseri more than the opportunity of returning to Jacksonville for a third time.
Starting his career as a rookie free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 2019, the Nebraska product saw his first in-game action as a member of the Jaguars later that season. Ozigbo went on to spend the better part of his first two years as a pro in Jacksonville and appeared in a total of 19 games. A reserve running back who saw most of his action on special teams, he touched the football 22 times for 97 yards.
He briefly returned to the Saints earlier this year — adding two more games as well as a pair of additional touches for a combined 4 yards to his résumé — before eventually finding his way back to the Jaguars. Ozigbo was waived again in late November, however, giving him a chance to sign with the Patriots’ developmental roster.
Even though his chances of joining New England’s 53-man squad are slim with Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor ahead of him on the depth chart, it seems that he is quite happy with this development.