Stevan Ridley expected to be punished heavily for fumbles

New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (22) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots star running back Stevan Ridley is easily the most talented rusher (Shane Vereen has something to say about being the Patriots most talented back “overall”) on the team overall, and that’s not a very light statement considering how deep the Patriots are at running back. Their depth is certainly coming in handy, because it allows Bill Belichick to act on principle and punish Ridley for his constant fumbles. The fumbles have always been an exaggerated issue with Ridley, but now the gripes are legitimate after Ridley has put the ball on the ground with consistency over his last few games. A couple of those fumbles have been quite egregious, and it’s up to coach Ivan Fears, Ridley, and others to diagnose what is wrong with the star back.

The Patriots running game will certainly be less effective without somebody as talented as Ridley, who has amazing cutting ability and vision, out there, but it’s a “sacrifice” Belichick and the Pats are willing to make.

Ridley was always expected to receive a limited workload this week and be a part of a rotation with backs LeGarrette Blount, who is also a fumble-prone player, and Brandon Bolden, but it sounds like Ridley will have an even smaller role in today’s game against the Houston Texans than initially thought.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that there’s a solid shot of Stevan Ridley not even being active today against the Texans, and that would definitely be a huge punishment levied by Belichick. Not only that, but Schefter adds that Ridley isn’t “expected” to receive “much if any” touches in today’s game. That should be the nail in the coffin for fantasy owners  who are somehow considering (likely out of total necessity) starting Ridley today to bench him. If Brandon Bolden is available, then he should definitely be picked up.

Topics: New England Patriots, Stevan Ridley

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