Although both Sammy Morris and Larence Maroney are physically fit and back at practice, and despite having Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield, the Patriots are still looking for help at running back.
Scout.com's senior NFL Reports Adam Caplan reports that the Patriots are expected to bring in free agent running back Mike Bell for a visit some time this weekend.
Bell, 25, was signed as an undrafted rookie by the Denver Broncos on May 2, 2006. The University of Arizona product played in 20 games (3 starts) for the Broncos in two seasons. The third-year running back recorded 677 yards his rookie season (4th most among all undrafted rookies). He also tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns (8) by an undrafted NFL rookie since the establishment of the NFL Draft process.
New England flirted with the concept of adding another running back in free agency this year a number of times, inviting Kevin Jones, Samkon Gado and others to Foxborough for visits. After meeting with the Patriots, Jones opted to sign a 1-year deal with the Chicago Bears.
Though Jones could become an immediate starter in the backfield had he proven
he was fully recovered from a serious knee injury, Bell may not be afforded
such an opportunity. Bell's size (6-foot, 225-pounds) and speed were enough
to keep him in the backfield rotation in Denver, but the Broncos opted to go
a different route this year signing 11th-year veteran Michael Pittman who is
well known for having excellent receiving and blocking abilities. The Broncos
also added 6-foot1, 225-pound rookie running back Ryan Torain out of Arizona State after selecting him in the 5th round of this year's NFL Draft.
Bell will travel to Houston after meeting with the Patriots if he is not signed to a contract during his visit. The Patriots would need to release another player from the active roster in order to add Bell.