With Vereen out, can Blount seize opportunity?

With Vereen out, can Blount seize opportunity?
September 9, 2013, 7:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- LeGarrette Blount's name is higher on the Patriots depth chart on Monday, for sure. Possibly for two reasons. Definitely for one.

That one being the fact that Patriots running back Shane Vereen sustained a broken wrist Sunday in the victory over the Buffalo Bills, automatically giving Blount a boost.

Blount was one of three Patriots running backs who saw carries out of the backfield on Sunday. He ran for 15 yards on seven carries.

With Vereen out, he said he'll be prepared to try and fill the void of a guy who ran 14 times for 101 yards and caught seven passes for 58 yards.

"He was one of the best players that we had [on Sunday]," Blount said of Vereen on Monday. "He's one of the best players on this team, and he showed it. Losing him is going to hurt a lot, but we're going to have to have some guys step up and try to fulfill his role."

Some might think that Stevan Ridley could have also boosted Blount's name on the depth chart, thanks to Ridley's two fumbles, which forced him to ride the bench for the rest of the game. But Blount doesn't believe that the Patriots will be going away from Ridley as their top back.

"I don't know how much of an opportunity it provides for anyone," said Blount. "It doesn't mean that he's going to go out here and fumble every game two times. It's just really discouraging to go out there and feel like they've turned their back on you, so I feel like nobody does that, nobody's going to do that. We're going to come right back to him this week."

As for whether or not the Patriots go back to Blount returning kicks on Thursday night against the Jets, that remains to be seen. He had two returns for 35 total yards.

Even with the re-signed Leon Washington back in the mix as a kick returner, Blount said on Monday that he'll at least be prepared to do it again.

"It was fun, man, it was a lot of fun," said Blount. "I like being on the field in general, whether it's returning kicks, punts, whatever. or in the back field, I just like playing in general. It was a lot of fun.

"You never know. You always have to expect the unexpected. We didn't expect Shane to get hurt, but he went down. And Leon's back, so I'm still preparing, just in case anything happens."