The New England Patriots have promoted running back Tyler Gaffney to the practice squad.
It’s bad news for a team that has struggled to run the ball this season. The Patriots will always have a productive offense with Tom Brady at the helm, but the team was hoping to be able to activate running back Dion Lewis from the physically unable to perform list this week.
That looks like it’s not happening, and Lewis will miss another game with a knee injury. The Patriots have a bye week in Week 9, so it does seem likely he’ll be able to return following that bye. But in the meantime, the Patriots have brought up Gaffney, who could be active against the rival Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Gaffney, 25, has been with the Patriots for the past two seasons. He was originally a sixth-round pick by the Carolina Panthers, but has dealt with injuries of his own, missing his first two seasons on injured reserve. He’ll get his first real opportunity at regular season play on Sunday, though he may mainly contribute on special teams.
Gaffney will be behind LeGarrette Blount, James White, Brandon Bolden and D.J. Foster on the depth chart.