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|With BenJarvus Green-Ellis having departed via free agency to Cincinnati, Ridley will enter training camp as the team’s starter at running back… at least that is what the football world is expecting. What head coach Bill Belichick has in mind is anybody’s guess. Having looked solid in a reserve role as a rookie in 2011, Ridley shapes up as the best bet to start in a New England backfield that also includes Danny Woodhead, fellow 2nd year player Shane Vereen and former Colt Joseph Addai. Ridley is the most physical runner of the group and is the favorite to land the short yardage and fourth quarter clock eating work, provided he avoids the fumbling issues that landed him in Belichick’s doghouse last season. With so many options, look for Ridley to get 10-12 touches per game, which should be good enough to rank as a mid-tier RB3 in 2012.
| Ridley, Mayo likely out for rest of the season -- Mon Oct 13 4:55 pm --|
Knee injuries to sideline RB, LB
|New England Patriots LB Jerod Mayo was carted off the field with a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday's 37-22 win against the Buffalo Bills and did not return. Mayo, a captain and signal-caller on defense, was immediately surrounded by teammates after a Boobie Dixon run up the middle on first down, as he wound up on the bottom of the pile.
The Patriots also lost RB Stevan Ridley to a knee injury and G Dan Connolly to a head injury. Mayo and Ridley were scheduled to have MRIs Monday to determine the severity of their injuries. (ESPN Boston)|
FF Today's Take: Both players could be headed to IR shortly. Mayo (knee) is a three-down linebacker who had graded out well against the run and played all but four snaps entering Week 6. Ridley likely has a torn ACL and is in the final year of his contract, likely meaning offseason standout rookie James White could be in line for a bigger role. Brandon Bolden also should figure into the mix along with Shane Vereen, but the former is more of a core special teamer.