The New England Patriots should have a full stable of running backs for their biggest game of the season to date.
Rex Burkhead is expected to play in next Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday, citing a source.
The Patriots running back was “close” to returning for Saturday’s divisional-round matchup against the Tennessee Titans, per Rapoport, and “should be good” to suit up next Sunday.
Burkhead suffered a sprained knee in a Week 15 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers that forced him to miss New England’s last two games. The team’s other backs have picked up the slack, though: The Patriots totaled 101 rushing yards in Saturday’s blowout win over the Tennessee Titans, with Dion Lewis recording a game-high 62 yards on 15 carries and James White and Brandon Bolden each tallying rushing touchdowns.
The Pats will be more than happy to welcome Burkhead back, though. The veteran running back had recorded five touchdowns over a four-game span before his injury, and his services will be needed against a Jaguars defense that held stud Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell to just 67 rushing yards on 16 attempts Sunday.