FOXBORO, Mass. — Following a 201-yard, four-touchdown performance that earned him a Sports Illustrated cover and AFC Offensive Player of the Week, Jonas Gray didn’t play a single snap for the New England Patriots.
Welcome to New England, Jonas.
The Patriots first-year running back missed practice Friday after arriving late to the facility and watched from the sideline as his snaps were handed to Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount and even Brandon Bolden, who previously had just one offensive snap since starting running back Stevan Ridley was placed on injured reserve.
“You never really know what your role is going to be, regardless of what happens,” Gray said Sunday after the Patriots’ 34-9 win. “You never know how many carries you’re going to get or if you’re part of the game plan. You just prepare, and if your number’s called, you do what you gotta do.”
Gray chose not to talk about what kept him out of the game, and wouldn’t “confirm or deny” whether he was benched for disciplinary reasons.
“We’re moving past that,” Gray said. “I’m glad we got the team win. I think it would have stung more if I didn’t play and we would have lost the game. I’m happy for these guys. I wish I could have contributed to the win, but we came away with the victory and these guys played great.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick essentially chose not to comment on Gray’s conspicuous absence from the game plan, as well.
“We do what we think is best,” Belichick said. “That’s what we did today.”
Blount ran for 78 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns in his first game back with the Patriots. A missed alarm might have lost Gray a starting role on the Patriots.
Thumbnail photo via AJ Mast/Associated Press