As injuries continue taking its toll on the defending champions, the New England Patriots have started searching for their next “man up”.
With LeGarrette Blount suffering a possible season-ending hip injury during Sunday night’s game against the Houston Texans, the Patriots are frantically searching for someone trust worthy of carrying the load needed to return the Patriots to the Super Bowl. The Patriots are now without their top two running backs with passing down back Dion Lewis tearing his ACL against Washington back in Week 9.
The Patriots recently added Monte Ball to their practice squad, with the intentions of moving him up to the 53 man roster. Ball has had a big issue with holding on to the ball, which has Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots nervous on whether Ball is the right man for the job. Knowing Ball’s history and Belichick’s track record, Ball would more than likely get cut after the first week anyway.
With the Patriots in a three team race for the top spot in the AFC, a first-round bye and potentially home-field throughout the playoffs, they decided to bring in veteran running back Steven Jackson for a workout on Wednesday.
Jackson, a former Falcons and Rams power back, has long been a player Bill Belichick admired. In 2012, Belichick recalled scouting Jackson during the 2004 NFL Draft process in Las Vegas.
“I went out there and met with him and spent the whole day, pretty much the whole day with him out there — he was a very impressive individual,”Belichick said of Jackson, via WEEI. “Obviously a big, strong kid that runs well, that catches the ball very well. That’s very good in the passing game — he’s a little underrated in that area. Good in blitz pickup. A smart guy. Has really had an outstanding career. He was definitely a guy we were very much interested in. Like I said, I personally spent quite a bit of time with him.”
The former Rams and Falcon star runner has gone without work all season after spending the past two years in Atlanta. At the ripe age of 32, Jackson has made it clear he wanted to sign with a playoff team. Now with Blount suffering a hip injury in Sunday night’s win over the Texans, it is looking like Jackson is going to get exactly what he wants.
To make this possible move even sweater, Patriots play-caller Josh McDaniels (2011) coached Jackson in St. Louis, where Jackson played nine seasons. Jackson showcased his versatility by carrying a huge load on the ground the through the air.
In 15 games with the Falcons in 2014, Jackson had 190 carries, 707 yards, and six touchdowns. Prior to his two-year stint with the Falcons, he had 1,000-yards or more in eight consecutive seasons and eight out of his nine seasons with the Rams.
It is almost certain with the history with Jackson and McDaniels, Belichick’s high opinion of Jackson and the fact that the Patriots need a good reliable back, that we will see Steven Jackson as a New England Patriot. Really the only question left is, when will we see him take the field as a Patriot?