Analyst Gives Patriots Ultimatum on Veteran RB: ‘Why Is he on the Roster?!’

Getty JJ Taylor, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots appear to have a true bell cow running back in Rhamondre Stevenson. Through nine games this season, Stevenson has already eclipsed his totals from his rookie campaign in 2021 in rushing yards and receptions. Stevenson has 618 rushing yards and 35 receptions this season compared to finishing with 606 and 14, respectively in 2021.

While Stevenson is playing well, there is something to be said for spelling him in certain situations. With Ty Montgomery on injured reserve and James White retired, there is a shortage of guys who can play the receiving back role for the Patriots.

The Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard was recently answering mailbag questions (subscription required) on this subject. The fan who wrote in suggested Bill Belichick use tight end Jonnu Smith in the role. Here is a piece of Bedard’s response:

“My confidence level in Jonnu doing anything well, especially having to learn on the fly, is nil,” Bedard wrote. “Just play JJ Taylor or release him. Why is he on the roster?!

That’s an interesting point and a valid question. Taylor has only appeared in one game this season. He had a reception for eight yards and a timely fumble recovery during the 26-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9.

Aside from that, Taylor’s opportunities have been null and void. During his three-year career–which has been spent entirely with the Patriots, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Taylor has 156 yards rushing, with 2 TDs and six receptions for 20 yards. That’s not a statline to write home about. However, it is tough to produce after having only played 119 snaps in nearly three years.

Could Taylor get more run against the Jets on Monday? It is possible, but we could also see a steady diet of Stevenson.

Around the NFL: Jets Coach Caught on Video Calling Out Officials

The Patriots take on the Jets on Sunday, allowing Robert Saleh and Co. an opportunity to gain some revenge against New England. The Patriots handed the Jets a 22-17 loss in New York in Week 8.

Zach Wilson seemed fired up for the rematch, and dynamic rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner claimed he couldn’t wait for the Week 11 battle. The game should be intense, but what’s also interesting is the comments Saleh made that were caught on video during the Jets’ Week 10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Heavy’s Paul Esden Jr. posted this video delivering the footage that captured Saleh seemingly questioning the integrity of the officials. Take a listen:

We’ll see if Saleh winds up hearing from the league office regarding those comments.

Around the NFL: Snow in Buffalo

Orchard Park, NY, which is home to the Buffalo Bills, has been hit with more than 66 inches of snow from Thursday night through Friday. Colin McCarthy of US Stormwatch dropped the details below.

Barring a continued snowfall, the Bills organization should have time to prepare the stadium in time for Buffalo’s game against the Detroit Lions. Buffalo will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss to the Minnesota Vikings last week in overtime.

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