Patriots Add RB Ball To Practice Squad In Wake Of Blount Injury
After leaving New England's 27-6 win over the Houston Texans in the second quarter with a hip injury, Sunday, the Patriots top power back LeGarrette Blount was seen on crutches yesterday. While it is currently unclear how long Blount will be out for, the team took steps today to add depth to the already thin running back position by adding former Bronco Montee Ball to the practice squad.
The news, which was broke by ESPN's Adam Schefter, doesn't come as a huge surprise as the team currently has just two healthy running backs on the active roster in Brandon Bolden and James White.
Ball, a third year player out of Wisconsin, had spent his first two years in the NFL with Denver, but after a disappointing season last year was released on September 6 of this season.
In two seasons in the Bronco backfield Ball, who was selected in the second round of the 2013 draft, rushed for 731 yards and totaled 201 yards receiving. While he managed to find the end zone five times his rookie season, he did not produce a score in five games in his second year and had a bit of trouble holding onto the ball with four fumbles in the two seasons.
His addition to the practice squad will give New England a bit of a buffer if Blount needs to miss a prolonged amount of time. Ball not only can fill the void of a bigger more physical back for New England, but he also has familiarity with White as the two played together for a couple years at Wisconsin.
In the second half last week, Bolden filled in nicely for Blount, carrying the ball 16 times for 51 yards. While he's shown that he is capable of playing the role of power back in the Patriots already pass heavy attack, the team has strayed from using him as a top option in part because of his importance on multiple special teams units. Ball could potentially be added to the active roster to help share the running load with Bolden, as White projects as more of a third down, passing back in this offense.
Along with bringing Ball into the mix, the team also reportedly added rookie wide receiver DeAndre Carter to the practice squad. Carter, who went undrafted out of Sacramento State, spent time this year with both the Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders. In his senior year in college, Carter put up gaudy numbers, catching 99 passes for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns.