New England Patriots elite change-of-pace back Shane Vereen is one of the most explosive running backs in the NFL, and his pass-catching ability gives the Patriots an added dimension on offense. Vereen has the ability to make big plays in the passing game both out of the backfield and split out wide, and getting him back for Monday night’s big showdown against the Carolina Panthers would be huge. He’s eligible to return this week after being placed on the short-term injured reserve following a broken wrist in Week 1, but Vereen isn’t a lock to return this week besides most indications pointing to him making his return this week.
Vereen’s broken wrist was an interesting case, and it shows just how tough Vereen is. He broke a small bone in his wrist a bit before the opener against the Buffalo Bills, so he had his massive 159 yards from scrimmage while playing through the broken bone. His all-purpose ability and playmaking ability will be a welcome reunion for the Patriots against a tough Panthers defense (particularly the front seven).
According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said that the Patriots will increase the intensity of the practice sessions for Vereen this week in an effort to see how healthy he is. If he checks out, then he’ll be active for the first time since Week 1. Keep a close eye on news regarding Vereen, but I think we’ll most likely see him out there on Monday against the Panthers.