Shane Vereen Absent From Patriots Practice; Alan Branch Still Missing

NFL: New York Jets at New England PatriotsFOXBORO, Mass. — Shane Vereen fantasy owners, check your waiver wire.

The New England Patriots running back was absent for the beginning of practice Friday for undisclosed reasons. The Patriots will release a practice participation and injury report around 4:30 p.m., detailing why the third-down back wasn’t at the session.

Defensive end Chandler Jones remains out of practice with a hip injury. Reportedly signed defensive tackle Alan Branch still hasn’t practiced with the Patriots.

If Vereen can’t play Sunday against the Chicago Bears, 2014 fourth-round draft pick James White likely would take his spot on third downs. Jonas Gray likely would have the bulk of the carries for the Patriots.

Vereen’s absence also might not be injury-related, and he still could suit up Sunday. Vereen has a big matchup this week since his brother, Brock, plays safety for the Bears.

Photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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