Patriots Sign Former Jaguars RB For Depth

Getty Devine Ozigbo

The New England Patriots made two additions to their practice squad on November 30. According to NESN’s Zack Cox, the Patriots inked former Jacksonville Jaguars RB Devine Ozigbo and Kansas City Chiefs CB Thakarius Keyes.

With the Patriots also releasing DT Niles Scott, the Patriots’ practice squad now has 15 of its 16 spots filled per ESPN’s Mike Reiss:

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The Patriots’ running backs have been solid when healthy. Unfortunately, both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson have battled some injuries over the past few weeks. Those issues have created a need for Ozigbo.

While he may never be activated, at the very least, he might be needed for practices if the Patriots coaching staff are looking lighten the load for Harris and Stevenson. As far as actually getting carries or snaps, Ozigbo would find himself behind veteran Brandon Bolden–who filled in admirably when both Harris and Stevenson has missed time.

Then there is also undersized running back J.J. Taylor. In the end, Ozigbo might be the option behind the proverbial in-case-of-emergency-break-glass scenario.

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Scouting Report on Devine Ozigbo’s Lance Zierlein seemed to believe Ozigbo had some upside when he came out of Nebraska in 2018. In his scouting report, Zierlein wrote:

Intriguing, one-year wonder with size and speed to catch the attention of NFL evaluators. Ozigbo is an explosive, downhill runner with adequate vision and above-average power, but he’s a one-speed runner who might need a more nuanced approach on the next level. Ozigbo’s senior tape and impressive traits could be enough to land a role as an NFL backup.

Ozigbo hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to make an impact in the NFL. After he eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in his senior year at Nebraska, Ozigbo was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has a total of 11 receptions for 25 yards in his career. He has been used more as a receiver.

He has 13 passes for 72 yards.

The Patriots’ Keys to Defeating the Buffalo Bills

To say the Week 13 Monday matchup between the Patriots and the Buffalo Bills is a big game is an understatement. The Patriots have a half-game lead in the AFC East and a win would give them a commanding 1.5 game lead.

Aside from the decent advantage in the standings, the Patriots would regain the emotional edge over the Bills after dropping both games in a forgettable 2020 run. How does New England win and take control of the division?

They have to protect the football. It’s something the team has done consistently through its current six-game win streak. The Patriots sit at +12 during the streak and that’s a consistent formula for victory.

If New England has a major weakness it comes in stopping the run. They gave up 270 rushing yards in the Week 12 win over the Tennessee Titans. They won’t be able to get away with that against the Bills. If the Patriots can shore up their run defense and protect the football, they will take command of the AFC East.

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