FOXBORO, Mass. — Based on early returns, a torn ACL and two knee surgeries couldn’t even zap Dion Lewis’ quickness.
The Patriots running back almost looked like himself during his season debut in New England’s Week 11 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Then, he looked another step quicker in the Patriots’ Week 12 victory over the New York Jets.
He might look even better in the Patriots’ Week 13 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
“It was raining (against the 49ers),” Lewis said. “It was a little wet out there. So last week it was on turf. I definitely felt a lot better.”
The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis makes defenders miss with quick cuts and jukes. Those help him prevent from taking full hits from much bigger players.
“I don’t mind getting hit, but I’m not going to let somebody hit me,” Lewis said. “If I can avoid that, I’m definitely going to do that, but I try to use my low center of gravity to my advantage. …
“I kind of just make the defender make the first move, and I just react off what he does. I just stay patient and force his hand. And then I just react off what he does.”
Lewis gives the Patriots a three-headed monster at running back, as he shares the backfield with James White and LeGarrette Blount (though apparently Rams head coach Jeff Fisher doesn’t know that). The three players have combined for 383 total yards in their two games together this season.
Now the key for Lewis is to stay healthy for the Patriots’ remaining five games and into the playoffs. Lewis missed one game in his rookie season, seven in 2012, the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons, nine games in 2015 and another nine to begin this season. He’s played in just 33 of a possible 96 games since entering the NFL.
Lewis has some keys to staying healthy this season, though.
“Just taking care of my body,” Lewis said. “I’m here countless hours a day just trying to take care of my body and make sure I’m ready to go every single day. Just treat myself good, that’s the biggest thing about this league. You’ve got to treat your body right, and it will take you a long way.”
Lewis wouldn’t exactly divulge how he’s taking care of his body.
“I got a couple secrets,” Lewis said. “I can’t tell you (those), because you’ll tell everybody. It won’t be a secret no more.”
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images