New England Patriots feature back Stevan Ridley was punished last week from chronic fumbling, as Bill Belichick listed him as an inactive against the Houston Texans. While LeGarrette Blount had some success on the ground, it has become increasingly clear that the Patriots running game and entire team is better when Ridley is the team’s feature back. He’s one of the most talented workhorse backs in the league and has excellent cutting ability and vision. The fumbles are an issue, but there are running backs who commit more egregious fumbles.
MassLive.com’s s Nick Underhill reports that Stevan Ridley is expected to be active for today’s game against the Cleveland Browns, but Underhill admits that it’s unclear as to how large of a role Ridley will play upon his return from what was essentially a one-game suspension for fumbling. Ridley, who has seven rushing touchdowns this season, is expected to split carries with Blount.
It’s good to hear that Ridley will likely be out there, and I expect the Patriots to give him a light workload to see if he is putting to practice what the Patriots and running backs coach Ivan Fears have been teaching him. There’s no doubt that he’s been working heavily on his fundamentals ever since the debacle against the Denver Broncos, and Ridley is determined to cut down on the fumbles. Hopefully he has a good game today, because the Patriots need him for another Super Bowl run.