The New England Patriots could be looking to add running back reinforcements with an opening on their 53-man roster.
The Patriots have been in contact with running back Mike Gillislee, a source told NESN.com on Sunday. Gillislee, who spent last season and this summer with the Patriots, was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday.
Gillislee had 104 carries for 383 yards with five touchdowns with the Patriots last season. He carried the ball just 16 times for 43 yards in four games with the Saints this season.
New England currently has just two running backs, James White and rookie Sony Michel, on its 53-man roster. The team began the season with four running backs before Jeremy Hill hit injured reserve with a torn ACL after Week 1 and Rex Burkhead landed on IR after Week 3 with a concussion and neck injury. Hill’s season is over; Burkhead could return off IR after six more games.
The Patriots rostered five running backs in 2017. They even dressed all five players in some games last season.
Running back Kenjon Barner has been on and off the roster, and he was cut Thursday to make room to activate wide receiver Julian Edelman. New England freed up a roster spot Saturday when it cut cornerback Cyrus Jones.
After a weekend off, the Patriots will report back to Gillette Stadium on Monday. They’ll practice for the first time this week Tuesday before their Week 6 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.