The Patriots won’t have to worry about seeing Peyton Hillis on the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
The Buccaneers released the veteran running back on Saturday, according to Sports Talk Florida. Hillis made the Buccaneers’ 53-man roster out of training camp but didn’t play in either of the team’s first two regular-season games. The Bucs promoted tight end Danny Knoble from the practice squad to take his roster spot.
Hillis, 27, was expected to back up second-year back Doug Martin on the Bucs’ depth chart, but a so-so preseason coupled with the emergence of rookie Mike James during camp reduced the veteran’s importance on the roster.
Hillis unexpectedly burst onto the NFL scene in 2010, rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns. Injuries derailed his quest for a second straight 1,000-yard season, forcing the bruising back to miss six games. He joined the Chiefs in 2012, hoping for a resurgence alongside feature back Jamaal Charles. He carried the ball just 86 times for 309 yards and one touchdown on the year but did manage a 101-yard effort against the Colts in Week 16, showing he’s still a capable back.
The Patriots are likely glad to see Hillis gone, considering he ran the ball 18 times for 73 yards against them in their preseason meeting with the Bucs.