Patriots gridiron news: Rex Burkhead enjoying expanded role

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Rex Burkhead
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Rex Burkhead /

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead has played his way into an expanded role with the team and is enjoying every bit of it. 

Rex Burkhead has become everything we thought he’d be with the New England Patriots.

After nursing an injury to the ribs following the Week 2 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, the versatile running back has returned at full strength and has become a multi-faceted contributor.

With another key performance in Sunday night’s 41-16 victory over the Denver Broncos, Burkhead has demonstrated his value in the running game, the passing game and on special teams.

He carried the ball 10 times for 36 yards, caught a 14-yard touchdown pass and blocked a punt.  Talk about the perfect Patriot, Rex Burkhead has become the type of weapon Bill Belichick loves.  With the increased snaps comes an increased responsibility he says he is enjoying.

"“Whatever way the coaches see me fit and whatever role they want to put me in and gives our team the best chance to win, I’m more than happy to do that,” Burkhead said during his Monday press conference.  “So, yeah, whenever your number is called or whenever they feel like I should be or where I should be, I’m happy to do it.”"

That is the mentality that made Rex Burkhead and the New England Patriots a perfect match. There are certainly more good things ahead for the versatile running back, if he remains healthy.

Rob Gronkowski looking forward to playing in Mexico

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Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots are approaching Sunday’s matchup against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City the same way they prepare for every other week.  That doesn’t mean playing in front of fans in another country is not special.

The big tight end was asked if he looked forward to playing in front of fans in Mexico and his answer was an astounding yes.

"“It’s always cool to change up the atmosphere,” Gronk said during his weekly press conference.  “It always gets you excited heading into a new atmosphere and not knowing what to expect exactly, so it’s going to be something different.  It’s going to be something fun.”"

Injury report

The New England Patriots have six players listed as limited on Wednesday.  Amongst those limited was tight end Martellus Bennett, who is obviously dealing with a shoulder injury.  According to the report, he is also dealing with a hamstring.

Next: New England Patriots: 3 Reasons Rex Burkhead is the Perfect Patriot

Also listed as limited was defensive lineman Alan Branch (neck), Danny Amendola (knee), Malcom Brown (ankle), Cassius Marsh (shoulder) and Eric Rowe (groin).  Marcus Cannon, Matthew Slater and Chris Hogan did not participate in practice on Wednesday.