The New England Patriots were hoping to get pass-catching tailback Dion Lewis back for the start of the 2016 season. But the tailback has suffered a setback in his recovery and could miss a significant portion of the 2016 season.
The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride reports the fourth-year running back will undergo a second surgery to clean up his left knee, which was surgically repaired after Lewis tore his ACL on a non-contact play last November.
While the procedure is viewed as minor, it will keep Lewis off the field for at least two months. Lewis is expected to be out 8-to-10 weeks, according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe. Lewis will most likely start the season on the physically unable to perform list and wouldn’t be eligible to return to practice for the first six weeks of the regular season.
Lewis fit in seamlessly with New England’s aerial attack and filled the role left behind by Shane Vereen. Lewis caught 36 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 234 yards and two scores during his first season with the Patriots.
This is a major blow to New England’s already battered offense. The Patriots will already be without suspended quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the regular season. To make matters worse, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer might be placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.
The Patriots almost always seem to find a solution at the revolving door that’s been their running back depth chart. Bruising back LeGarrette Blount figures to serve as the early down and short-distance thumper, while third-year halfback James White could assume Lewis’ role. White hauled in 40 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns last season. The Patriots also could utilize veteran Brandon Bolden in passing situations.