New England Patriots: Is Dion Lewis Replaceable?


The New England Patriots won their eighth straight game on Sunday over the Washington Redskins, 27-10 at Gillette Stadium.  However, with that win, came a huge blow to the offense as running back Dion Lewis tore his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the 2015-2016 NFL season.

In his fourth season as a professional football player, Lewis has yet to complete a full season without going down with an injury.  He’s dealt with a broken leg in the past, and the ACL tear simply adds insult to injury given the productive season he was having so far.

After Shane Vereen left in free agency this off season, there was a gaping hole in the New England offense which Lewis helped fill.  He’s a savvy running back who excels at being a receiver and working for the extra yards.

As a running back he averaged 4.8 yards per carry, and made a huge impact for the team as a receiver out of the backfield. It was his body control that would throw opponents off, as Lewis was arguably the most elusive runner in the entire NFL before the injury..  After being LeSean McCoy‘s backup in Philadelphia, Lewis learned how to be elusive in the run game and has stuck with it.

Nov 8, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (38) catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been some panic since Lewis went down and many fans don’t see how the Patriots can replace his production. New England has backup James White who can step into the role Lewis played. White is a second year player out of Wisconsin who is supposed to be like Lewis in the way he plays the game.

White was not active for the game against Washington, so it was the other backup Brandon Bolden who stepped in and caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady. Bolden is in his fourth season out of Ole Miss and at 5’11 and 220 pounds, he packs a punch just like LeGarrette Blount.

Many have suggested free agent running backs for the Patriots to consider, and that may not be a terrible idea. However, the Patriots are not a team that panics, they are all about next man up and take pride in letting the current guys on their roster step in and help out the team.

Next: Danny Amendola Should Help Replace Injured Dion Lewis

Belichick and his staff believe in what they’ve built, and come Sunday at 4:25 when the New England Patriots kick off against the New York Giants, their backup running backs will be ready to take on any challenge thrown their way. The loss of Lewis certainly hurts, but it is not one that cripples them. The Patriots are still a talented team with a dominant offense.