FOXBORO -- Responsibility for New England's ground game grew for Stevan Ridley after Shane Vereen went on injured reserve. Though they aren't the same kind of player, losing a strong passing back like Vereen has heaped more pressure on Ridley to produce yards.
Brandon Bolden could help the offense. He just needs to get in a game.
The second-year back was inactive for the Patriots' first two games of 2013 with a knee injury. There's been no talk of a timeline, but he said this week that he's definitely making progress.
"I'm doing OK," Bolden said Monday. "Taking it day-to-day, trying to get better. That's just a goal, is to try and get better each and every day, try to not have one good day and one bad day, but string a bunch of good days together."
So has he? The injury and participation report has listed Bolden as "limited" in every regular season practice thus far. Still, he sounds optimistic.
"Things have been going pretty well. Like I said, just trying to get as much done as possible."
Bolden, at 5-11, 220-pounds, is more of a power back like Ridley. The Patriots could only benefit from having another option, however. Thanks to last week's Thursday night game, the team has more preparation time for its September 16 matchup against Tampa Bay. Will the extra days off be enough to push Bolden over the line to activation?
"As of right now, it's a toss-up. I'll go through the week, see how it feels, and we'll find out."