New England Patriots fifth-year running back Brandon Bolden missed the team’s 33-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns in Tom Brady’s season debut on Sunday. Bolden had 2 catches for 15 yards against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, only to leave the game with a leg injury. Bolden twisted a knee while being tackled following his second catch.
Bolden gingerly walked off the field, and New England initially feared Bolden’s injury might require season-ending surgery, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. But just over a week later — one day after the Patriots’ rout in Cleveland—Bolden appeared in the team locker room, walking without crutches.
While running back James White was solid in the Patriots’ pass-catching back role on Sunday — compiling 63 yards on 4 catches — Bolden has been a valuable asset to Brady’s passing attack in the past. The Ole Miss product finished the 2015 season with 387 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns.
LaGarrette Blount will continue to man New England’s power-back role and White has certainly established himself as a successful third-down man, snaring passes out of the backfield. Still, a quick return from Bolden will only help bolster the Patriots’ thin backfield as New England awaits the return of all-purpose back Dion Lewis from the PUP list. Lewis, a speedster, will be eligible to return to the Patriots’ active roster for the Tuesday practice of Week 7, although it remains uncertain when he will be physically ready to suit up this season.