Dion Lewis: New England Patriots RB Week 8 Status


With incredible quickness and a natural ability to make defenders miss, Dion Lewis has become a surprise offensive star for the New England Patriots this season. After bouncing around the league for the first three years of his career, Lewis seems to have finally found a home in New England.

Through five games, Lewis has rushed for 201 yards on 40 attempts (5.0 YPC average), while also hauling in 26 receptions for 256 receiving yards as Tom Brady‘s primary passing back. Lewis has also found the endzone three times (twice on the ground, and once as a receiver), and is becoming one of the most trusted options on the Patriots’ offense.

Unfortunately, Lewis suffered an abdomen injury in Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts. Despite participating in practice throughout the week (albeit in a limited capacity), Lewis was held out of the Patriots’ Week 7 victory over the New York Jets. With the Patriots on a short week ahead of a Thursday night match-up against the Miami Dolphins, it is fair to wonder whether Lewis will make his return to the line-up.

So, will Lewis lace up his cleats on Thursday night, or will the Patriots hold him out for the second straight game? As of right, that is incredibly difficult to predict, as Lewis appears to be heading towards becoming a true game-time decision.

On the Patriots’ official injury report, Lewis has been listed as a limited participant in practice on both Monday and Tuesday. Obviously, it is difficult to predict what that really means after the Patriots held him out after practicing last week, but being on the practice field is a good sign.

All of that being said, I expect to see Lewis on the field against the Dolphins. I think the Patriots held him out last week against the Jets, knowing that they were going to attack Todd Bowles‘ defense through the air. With a short week coming up, I think Belichick and his staff just decided to give Lewis a few more days to get ready for Miami.

Speaking of the Dolphins, they have the 30th most rushing yards per game this season (129.3). Because of that, I expect the Patriots to focus on the ground attack much more than least week, giving them more of a reason to get Lewis into the lineup.

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While the Dolphins’ run defense has been much better the past two weeks, it has been against the ugly Tennessee Titans’ rushing attack, and the Houston Texans trailing big throughout, while also losing Arian Foster. I am not saying that the rush defense has not improved under Dan Campbell as the head coach, but I do not think they have magically gone from awful to amazing just because of a coaching change.

Lewis will undoubtedly be listed as questionable going into the game against Miami, and the Patriots will take the decision as late into the night as they can. That being said, I think the plan all along was to get him ready for this game.

While it is far from a certainty, my gut tells me we will see Lewis on the field on Thursday night, and with a great match-up, he could really do some damage against the Dolphins.

Next: Patriots vs. Dolphins: Complete TNF Preview

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