Patriots gridiron news: Dion Lewis admits limited role is ‘tough’

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Dion Lewis
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Dion Lewis /

As the New England Patriots offense continues to find consistency, one offensive playmaker has seen his role decrease from week to week.

That player is running back Dion Lewis.  With the New England Patriots loaded at the position, the dynamic backfield threat has found himself the odd man out.  And with a limited role comes frustration.

With just 32 total snaps through the first three weeks of the season, Lewis opened up to CSN’s Mike Giardi about his lack of involvement in the Patriots’ offense.  Although frustrated, he is still remaining a team player.

"“It’s tough,” Lewis told Giardi Wednesday.  “But I just come every day, and try to work hard like I always do.  My time will come.  I know what kind of player I am.  My teammates know what type of player I am.  I’ll get my chance and show people what I can do, but I don’t really have no control over that.”"

What Lewis does have control over is making plays when he is out there on the field.  He knows that’s the only way he will work his way onto the field more consistently, especially with Mike Gillislee and James White getting the majority of the snaps.

"“I want to be out there making plays,” he said.  “It’s definitely tough – a tough situation.  I love playing football.  I don’t like to watch.  It’s tough.  Things will work out.  Eventually they’ll work out, and when I get my chance, you’ll see a lot of special things.”"

Patriots fans saw those special things in 2015 before he went down with a ACL injury.  He certainly has what it takes, but both health and opportunity have been in the way since he returned midway through the 2016 NFL season.

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While Dion Lewis went on to say that the recent trade rumors have not been a distraction, it has to weigh on him somewhat.  But in the meantime, he just has to focus on what he can control and that’s what he does with the football when his name is called.  With the struggles of the running game and the absence of Rex Burkhead, maybe that chance will come as soon as Week 4 when the team takes on the Carolina Panthers.

Rex Burkhead

Speaking of Rex Burkhead, the versatile running back missed his fifth consecutive practice on Thursday.  This will likely mean he will miss his second straight game on Sunday.

Due to the rib injury, one has to wonder how serious it is and whether Burkhead will see time on the field anytime soon.  His unavailability does open more opportunity for Dion Lewis in the offense.  Can the 27-year-old running back take advantage?

Next: New England Patriots will have their hands full with Christian McCaffrey

Together they stand

While the National Anthem controversy continues throughout the NFL, players such as Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks have indicated that the team will all stand this Sunday.

Cooks was one of the players who kneeled last week and heard a chorus of boos.  The dynamic wide receiver did end the game to loud cheers when he caught the game-winning touchdown from Tom Brady.