The second week of the preseason got infinitely more interesting this week for the Patriots following their addition of running back Ezekiel Elliott. Following a longer-than-usual wait in free agency, though, all eyes will be on Zeke as he looks to prove he’s still got it.
However, some Pats fans are already expressing concerns about Elliott and his current physical shape.
The Boston Herald‘s Andrew Callahan posted a video Wednesday morning from Green Bay — where the Pats are participating in joint practices against the Packers this week — of Elliott taking the field for the first time in a New England jersey. It’s a very simply clip of the veteran walking to join his teammates, but some are already calling out Elliott’s physique.
Several comments even said Elliott looks like an offensive lineman, which isn’t exactly what a top free agent RB should resemble.
Others, however, were a bit more supportive. @bostonchips tweeted, “guys gonna be a third down monster.” Another sees Elliott’s size as a strength.
A 12-second clip is basically nothing, but it’s already got the Pats faithful talking. No one should be surprised considering how this fan base is. It’s also not a shock that Elliott’s shape is drawing buzz considering that topic has followed for much of the back half of his career.
Though Elliott’s physique and game has changed, he has still shown that he can contribute at a high level. The three-time Pro Bowler has racked up 22 rushing touchdowns over just the past two seasons, becoming one of the NFL’s best red-zone threats. In fact, he was second in the league in rushing TDs inside the 20 last year with 12, and he did that on just 35 attempts.
That kind of efficiency in the game’s most important area is incredibly valuable, especially for a New England team that struggled to finish drives in 2022.
If Zeke’s put on a few pounds, so what? He still has nearly a month until the Patriots’ season opener, giving him plenty of time to get into Week 1 shape. New England also would not have signed him if there were any questions about the running back’s physical readiness, so that should ease fans’ early concerns.
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