Brandon Bolden is not on the New England Patriots to be an every-down back. He’s not even there to be a specialty back.
No, his job is to be an ace on special teams, and ordinarily he is.
But it’s for that reason it was so surprising that the Patriots gave him six touches, sometimes in the red zone, no less, during their listless loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The drive stalled after the Patriots kept trying to make Bolden break loose, and they had to settle for a field goal in the eventual 28-13 loss. He finished with minus-one-yard rushing on three carries, while reeling in three passes for 23 yards.
But while New England fans near and far were floored to see Bolden continue to get the ball, he wasn’t.
After all, the Patriots were down James White at that point.
“When one of our guys goes down, it’s all hands on deck, so I was there ready to do whatever they asked me to do,” Bolden said after the game.
Assuming White misses some time, the Bolden workload, all three carries, will probably prove to just be a stopgap. The Patriots have not been playing Rhamondre Stevenson the last two weeks, and he represents a better option in the backfield than Bolden does.
That’s not to bag on Bolden, it’s just not his job. That he was getting key touches simply underscores the Patriots’ unenviable situation Sunday afternoon.