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Patriots work out free-agent RB Steven Jackson

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With LeGarrette Blount done for the year, the Patriots are spreading a wide net for help in the backfield.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported New England worked out Steven Jackson on Wednesday, according to a source informed of the team's thinking.

The former Rams star runner has gone without work all season after spending the past two years in Atlanta toiling for the Falcons. At 32, Jackson has made it clear he wanted to sign with a playoff team, a scenario that gained steam after Blount suffered a hip injury in Sunday night's win over the Texans.

There's a connection here after Patriots play-caller Josh McDaniels coached Jackson in St. Louis before the veteran back moved on to Atlanta, where he piled up 1,250 yards over the past two seasons.

Jackson was a fading asset with the Falcons, lacking lateral quickness and looking all but done at the end of last season. Still, coach Bill Belichick loves trustworthy veterans and needs a runner to pair with Brandon Bolden and James White. The team also signed former Broncos second-rounder Montee Ball to their practice squad.

The Patriots are battered on offense, but let's be honest: New England could turn Kylie Jenner into a 1,000-yard rusher if need be. They'll be fine in the end.

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