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Stevan Ridley's knee injury reportedly not serious

The New England Patriots plan to lean on Stevan Ridley in the backfield this season, but those plans will have to wait. The second-year runner left the field with a knee injury during Thursday's practice, but it doesn't appear to be serious, the Boston Herald reported.

Ridley watched his teammates before retreating to the locker room. The Patriots have given no indication if he will miss additional practice or game work (not shocking as this organization is a steel trap when it comes to their walking wounded).

His absence means more opportunities for another second-year back, Shane Vereen, who has impressed coaches with his pass-catching ability and showed promise on the ground (11 carries for 64 yards) in the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints. Brandon Bolden generated buzz early in camp, but he's a raw project with a history of fumbles in college. We know what Danny Woodhead can do, and he remains one of Tom Brady's favorite targets out of the backfield.

New England suddenly has a banged-up backfield. Spencer Larsen has missed 11 straight practices through Thursday and fullback Eric Kettani the last five.

With Ridley sidelined, the Herald hinted coach Bill Belichick might bring in a fresh set of legs for the remainder of camp. We'll keep an eye on Ridley as he works his way back onto the field.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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