Bill Belichick delivered some bad news Friday morning: LeGarrette Blount won’t keep No. 60.
The newly re-signed running back sported the offensive lineman’s number at practice Thursday, but Blount will have a new jersey before he suits up in a game. Otherwise, Blount would have to be designated as an offensive lineman and be declared eligible on any offensive snap that he took.
“No, I’m sure he’ll have a regular number,” Belichick said during his news conference. “Have to ask the equipment people about that, maybe jerseys got mixed up.”
Belichick confirmed that the Patriots tried to reach an agreement with Blount over the offseason, when he signed a two-year, $3.85 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers released Blount on Tuesday.
“We tried to sign LeGarrette in the offseason. That didn’t work out, which is — this is the NFL,” Belichick said. “It’s a business, it’s part of the NFL. He was released, he was available, we were able to work it out for him to come back here. Glad to have him back.”
Blount played with the Patriots in 2013 after they traded a seventh-round draft pick and running back Jeff Demps to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 6-foot, 250-pound running back. Blount carried the ball 153 times for 772 yards with seven touchdowns last season. He also added a 24-carry, 166-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoff matchup.
“We know the player, we have a history with him, so I think that was the biggest part of it,” Belichick said.
Blount’s role has yet to be determined, especially after first-year pro Jonas Gray just ripped off 37 carries for 201 yards and four touchdowns against the Colts last week.
“That will be up to him, just like everybody else,” Belichick said about Blount. “He has an opportunity, how much he can take advantage of it, how much he can be productive, what he can do with those opportunities will determine how many more there are. It’s totally up to him, he knows that, we talked about that. He knows that’s the way it is, and I think he’s excited about it.”
Thumbail photo via Michael Perez/Associated Press