Rumormill: A New Running Back
By Patriots Insider Staff
It's no secret that the New England Patriots are in dire straits at the running back position. After losing Kevin Faulk to a broken bone in his foot against Pittsburgh in week 3, and having starter Corey Dillon nursing ankle and leg injuries, the Patriots signed free agent Amos Zereoue to take some of the pressure off the unit. The situation took a turn for the worse when Zereoue went down with a thigh injury, and hit critical when FB Patrick Pass went down on Sunday against the Bills. New England has been shuffling the rotation trying to put fresh bodies in place, but hasn't been able to keep anyone healthy.
The team signed free agent fullback Heath Evans on November first. Evans is expected to help shoulder the burden that the team had with his ability to provide blocking support, but that hasn't address the need for a playmaker. Both Pass and Faulk made huge contributions in two of the Patriots wins when Dillon was out. With both backs sidelined, and Zereoue cut to make way for Evans, the Pats desperately need another playmaker who can carry the ball while spelling Dillon.
Word on the street is that the Patriots are seeking to sign one of the numerous free agents who have to Foxborough for a tryout. Names like Quentin Griffin, Charlie Garner, Olandis Gary, and Anthony Thomas have been in the mix. Yet there's one name the team seems most comfortable with, and that's former Patriots and BC running back Mike Cloud.
It appears Cloud has the inside edge on his competition, and could join the team as early as Friday. This would give the Patriots a healthy body to use against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.
The Patriots already had their hands full before Pass went down with his hamstring injury, now that he's gone, the team will likely have to rely on one, possibly two free agents signed this week to help them try to form some sort of ground game against one of the better defenses in the league.
Expect more on Cloud soon as he was seen in the locker room on Friday during the media availability period.
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