Another week has passed since Dion Lewis was placed on injured reserve, and the New England Patriots still haven’t added another running back to their 53-man roster or practice squad.
The Patriots have just LeGarrette Blount, James White and Brandon Bolden on their 53-man roster. Fullback Joey Iosefa, who played running back in college at Hawaii, is on the practice squad. The Patriots have shown interest in signing a running back since Lewis’ season ended because of a torn ACL by bringing several to Gillette Stadium for tryouts, but none have tickled their fancy enough to earn a contract.
Here are six players worked out by the Patriots who are unsigned:
The Patriots worked out Thomas on Nov. 12, just two days after he was cut by the San Francisco 49ers.
Thomas, who’s 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, has 3,757 rushing yards on 822 carries with 28 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons. He’s also added 327 catches for 2,608 yards with 12 scores.
Thomas, 30, seems like a natural to serve as depth as a third-down back, but there must be a reason he was cut by the 49ers after just one game.
Hunter worked out for the Patriots on Nov. 20. He’s been out of the NFL since being released by the 49ers with an injury settlement on Sept. 17.
Hunter hasn’t played an NFL game since 2013 after tearing his ACL during training camp last year. He also suffered a torn Achilles during the 2012 season.
Hunter, 27, has 262 career carries for 1,202 yards with seven touchdowns after being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State. The 5-foot-7, 199-pound running back also has 27 catches for 268 yards in 43 career games.
Ball hasn’t found a job since being cut by the Denver Broncos on Sept. 6.
Ball worked out for the Patriots on Sept. 29. He played collegiately with White at Wisconsin before being selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Ball, 24, has 175 carries for 731 yards with five touchdowns in two NFL seasons with 20 catches for 207 yards. It seems surprising the 5-foot-10, 215-pound back is still on the open market.
The Patriots worked out Brown on Tuesday, alongside Marion Grice and seven other players. Brown has been a free agent since being cut from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad on Sept. 8. He spent training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brown, 23, ran for 39 yards on 18 carries during preseason with the Buccaneers. The 6-foot-2, 241-pound running back also added two catches for 0 yards.
He ran a 4.63-second 40-yard dash at his Louisville Pro Day in March with a 7.09-second 3-cone, 4.20-second short shuttle, 32.5-inch vertical leap and 9-foot, 1-inch broad jump.
Grice was cut from the Detroit Lions’ practice squad Nov. 11. He spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals, gaining 41 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown in 10 games. The 6-feet, 208-pound Arizona State product caught seven passes for 29 yards.
Grice, 24, had nine carries for 17 yards in the 2015 preseason with three catches for 32 yards. He ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day last April with a 7.06-second 3-cone, 4.41-second short shuttle, 32-inch vertical leap and 9-foot, 7-inch broad jump while recovering from a leg injury.
Brown was waived by the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. He won’t pass through waivers until Monday at 4 p.m., when he’ll either be claimed by a team, or he’ll become a free agent.
The Patriots worked out Brown on Sept. 18, before they actually needed a running back. He was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Kansas State. He spent 2014 and the beginning of the 2015 season with the Buffalo Bills.
Brown, 24, has 226 career carries for 1,004 yards with six touchdowns. The versatile 6-feet, 220-pound back also has 37 receptions for 316 yards.
He ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in 2012 with a 7.04-second 3-cone, 4.20-second short shuttle, 34-inch vertical leap and 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
Aug 6, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
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