Mike Gillislee’s been a bust in New England thus far. Yet, a second chance could be on the horizon.
The New England Patriots running back might come off the shelf for the first time since Week 8.
Patriots running back Rex Burkhead suffered a knee injury in the team’s Week 15 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. New England expects Burkhead to be out at least until the playoffs. As a result, Gillislee could be active for the first time since late Oct. when the Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick sounded optimistic about the possibility of Gillislee suiting up in Week 16.
“Mike’s very consistent. He works hard all the time,” Belichick said, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I think at this point all of our players have been told, and need to know, they need to be ready to go every week.”
Gillislee started off the season on a positive note. He rushed for four touchdowns in New England’s first two games. Nowadays he can’t seem to get off the bench. That perdicament figures to change this week.
The fifth-year running back says his humbling time on the pine has motivated him.
“I’ve been through times like this, and I don’t let it bother me,” Gillislee said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “Because at the end of the day, I’m blessed to be able to play the game that I love. But each and every day, I just start all over, and I just work even harder. It’s nothing but motivation to me.”
Gillislee is set to get another chance to revitalize his quiet first year in New England.