Patriots Call On Rookie Power Back Joey Iosefa over Montee Ball


Powerful rookie back Joey Iosefa gets the call from the Patriots’ practice squad over Montee Ball.

After losing LeGarrette Blount for the season with a hip injury, the Patriots could not just roll with Brandon Bolden and James White as their only options in the backfield. The team flirted with the idea of bringing in veteran RB Steven Jackson, but that did not end up happening. They did however, sign former second-round pick Montee Ball to the practice squad.

Ahead of their Sunday match-up with the Tennessee Titans, the Patriots did bring a running back up from the practice squad, but it wasn’t Ball like many expected. Instead, the Patriots have called on rookie Joey Iosefa.

Iosefa was a star for the University of Hawaii in college, and the absolute center of their offense. At 6-foot-tall, 247 pounds Iosefa is not blessed with top end speed or athleticism, but he is a powerful runner who can do some damage on the inside. Iosefa also showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield in college, and that is always a useful skill in the Patriots’ offense.

The Patriots currently list Iosefa as a fullback. It is hard to say whether they actually plan on using him at the fullback position, or if he is actually brought up to play some running back. I guess we will know in time.

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Iosefa’s powerful running style brings something to the Patriots’ offense that they will desperately be missing without Blount. Bolden will likely get the first crack at replacing Blount’s carries, but if he is ineffective, do not be surprised to see the Patriots give Iosefa a chance to prove himself.

It is certainly interesting that the Patriots brought up Iosefa over Ball. Most likely, it was just because of Ball’s late addition to the party. It is unlikely that he has picked up too much of the playbook in his short time in New England, and the Patriots probably just feel more comfortable having Iosefa in there, as he has been on the team’s practice squad for most of the season.

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Iosefa will likely get some sort of chance to prove himself on Sunday against the Titans. If nothing else, it will be exciting to see what the Patriots have in the big back. Who knows, he could be another diamond in the rough.