As I predicted yesterday in my game recap, Dion Lewis tore his left ACL yesterday. The injury is definitely a blow to the Patriots, but it’s not completely devastating.
It really sucks because a pass catching back is often Bill Belichick’s way of taking away the strengths of any really good defenses that the Patriots face. Shane Vereen had 11 catches in the Super Bowl against the (supposedly) amazing Seahawks defense, and The Hooded One used Dion Lewis to dodge the Buffalo Bills and their vaunted pass rush by racking up 138 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Against Denver and Houston in the regular season and whoever they face in the playoffs, the Pats will long for Lewis’ presence.
That being said, there’s a reason that the Pats picked up Lewis off the scrap heap. Even though Belichick signed Lewis to an extension because Lewis handles the position well, that doesn’t change the fact that Belichick can make just about any pass catching back into a very useful offensive player for the Pats. You’ve seen them try to use James White in that role , and hopefully he can step up. But Brandon Bolden should not be underestimated in the Kevin Faulk role. The dude can block, and his ability to disguise as a blocker and then sneak out for a screen pass will come in handy for the Pats at some point, if not for the entire rest of the season. Let’s also remember that Dion Lewis was not the most sure handed of rushers, and not having to make up for one of his fumbles in their own territory in a playoff game will be a nice luxury.
So yeah, this loss hurts the Patriots. But Stevan Ridley went down last year a few weeks before, and the team went onto win the Super Bowl. The pass catching running back is one that is easily replaceable for the best coach and quarterback of all time, and the team can roll on to Santa Clara with or without Dion Lewis.