New England had a promising backfield earlier this season with Blount taking the between-the-tackles carries and Dion Lewis handling the passing down snaps. Lewis, who was essentially the team's No. 3 receiver, was lost for the year in November with a torn ACL. The team is now left with their thinnest running back group since Sammy Morris led the team in rushing in 2008.
Brandon Bolden and James White took all the snaps after Blount left Sunday's game and figure to carry the load from here on out. Bolden is more in the Benjarvus Green-Ellis mold as a no-nonsense all-around running back without flashy skills. He should be the starter. White is a passing down back; a poor man's Lewis. The team also signed former Broncos second-round pick Montee Ball to their practice squad. It looks like the most talent-poor backfield in football.
Even before Blount went down, this running back was struggling. And Blount was the bellcow, with 168 carries. Bolden and White have combined for only 48 carries. The team is 27th in rushing yards this season despite the presence of an MVP quarterback playing at a peak level. Moving the ball is only going to fall on Brady's shoulders more than ever offensively, although this could also be the best Patriots defense since 2004.
It's certainly one of the most injury-plagued teams in the league. This news comes on the same day that the team lost promising defensive tackle Dominique Easley for the season, their first-round pick from a season ago. Safety Devin McCourty just suffered an ankle sprain and linebacker Jonathan Freeny is now out with a wrist injury. Fourteen Patriots are on injured reserve, including left tackle Nate Solder. Tom Brady's favorite wideout Julian Edelman is hopeful to return by the end of the season.