Fantasy owners of New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley should take note, because Ridley was not present at the start of Patriots practice for an unknown reason. Ridley did not seem to suffer an injury during last week’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons, though he did see his snaps diminished despite having a nice all-around game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the week before. Ridley is still the Patriots No. 1 back, but the Pats are set on using a rotation with the way LeGarrette Blount can make big plays and the talent that Brandon Bolden brings to the table.
According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Stevan Ridley was not spotted, and he is the only “new” or “surprising” absence at practice today. Again, it didn’t seem like Ridley suffered an injury on Sunday, and I am willing to bet that the Patriots are just giving the LSU product a day of rest. However, it pays to be diligent, so Ridley’s status is worth monitoring; we’ll likely hear some reports regarding his status.
We should start to get worried about Ridley’s ability to play this week against the Cincinnati Bengals (definitely a big game) if he doesn’t practice tomorrow, but this is a guy who does a great job of staying healthy and is almost certainly getting a day of rest. The real question is whether or not Stevan Ridley will continue to work in rotation, which seems likely at this point. He ran for a solid 53 yards on 11 carries with two catches last week, but he is still averaging less than four yards per carry on the season. If Ridley truly is injured, then it’s honestly anyone’s guess as to whether Bolden or Blount will receive the brunt of the workload; I think that the Patriots would split the workload in that event. But in that case, Bolden’s better pass-catching ability could be the difference.