Patriots gridiron news: Dion Lewis continues to play big

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

Running back Dion Lewis may be small, be he continues to play big as the lead rusher for the New England Patriots.

It was just weeks ago that New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis was rumored as trade bait and slotted as the fourth back on the team’s depth chart.  Now, the little, shifty back out of the University of Pittsburgh has taken over the role of lead back and he is not looking back.

In Sunday’s 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Lewis logged the most snaps of any running back and took advantage. He carried the ball for a team-high 13 times for 76 yards.  He did it with speed, elusiveness and an element of power that makes him hard to bring down on first contact.

Take a look at this 25-yard surge below that shows just how Lewis is able to elude tacklers and turn small gains into big ones.

Along with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Dion Lewis also adds a level of unpredictability to the Patriots’ offense.  That is the advantage he will have over Mike Gillislee going forward into the season.

Another positive from Sunday night’s game is how Lewis and the running back group were able to close out the game by running out the clock.  It was a display of physicality that will make this group of running backs even more dangerous.

"“We were just being physical at the end,” Lewis said following the game.  “We talked about being physical in the running game and there’s no better way than being physical to close the game out in a four minute situation.”"

Harvey Langi returns home

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 Rookie undrafted linebacker Harvey Langi and his wife Cassidy were released from the hospital and are now back home following a car crash that landed the two in the hospital just over a week ago.

Langi reportedly suffered a back injury while his wife suffered multiple injuries. It is doubtful that the New England Patriots linebacker will see time on the field this season.

According to the Boston Herald, 25-year-old Keven M. Conroy has had his license revoked due to the three-car crash and was charged with possession of a Class E substance as well as negligence in operation of a motor vehicle.

Dont’a Hightower dealing with another injury

Following a stellar performance by the entire defense on Sunday, veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower is now dealing with a shoulder injury.

While the extent of the injury is unknown, Hightower has had shoulder issues in the past. He will undergo further testing throughout the week and it is a sure bet the team will limit his physical activity in practice.

Next: New England Patriots: 5 observations from week 7 win over Falcons

Fortunately, the team will have a bye following this Sunday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.  Hightower will have plenty of time to rest up if for some reason he is unable to go in Week 8.