Tag Archives: Darren McFadden

Dion Lewis to Undergo “Clean Up” Surgery, Out Indefinitely

Steve Balestrieri
August 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm ET

Pats will likely try to swing a deal now

So much for good news, just a short time after he walked thru the locker room with no noticeable limp, it was learned that Patriots’ running back Dion Lewis will undergo “clean-up” surgery and be shelved indefinitely.

Adam Schefter from ESPN broke the story that Lewis will undergo a second surgery.

Lewis who hadn’t been seen since the last day of minicamp was seen by the media strutting thru the locker room during the open phase on Sunday. Since he’s been MIA since June, it was seen as a positive sign. Now he’s going to ….at a minimum begin the season on PUP and perhaps even wind up on IR.

This latest setback is expected to last 8-10 weeks which would put Lewis on the cusp of PUP and possibly landing on IR if he isn’t ready by then.

So what do the Patriots do in the meanwhile? Well, it immediately opens a spot on the 53-man roster. We had already projected Lewis to start the season on PUP so that part is no surprise. That opens a roster spot that we believe will go to…right now Tyler Gaffney. It could also open the door for someone like Donald Brown or D.J. Foster to make the roster, but both have missed a ton of time.

One thing is for sure now, and that is James White’s spot now appears locked as he’s now the best pass catching RB on the team. The Patriots depth chart currently consists of: LeGarrette Blount James White Brandon Bolden Tyler Gaffney Donald Brown Joey Iosefa and D.J. Foster.

Blount, White, and Bolden appear to be roster locks. The remaining players will fight it out for the final spot. FB James Develin is a lock and could be listed here or with a separate category.

Work a Trade? The Patriots could be trying to work a trade or will wait and watch the waiver wire for a suitable pickup. This was something Paul Perillo of PFW said during the broadcast of the game on Thursday.

He mentioned the Titans and Bishop Sankey. He’s got good size and is a Patriots type player and would be a good fit. Tennessee is loaded at the position with Derrick Henry, DeMarco Murray, Dexter McCluster, Antonio Andrews, David Cobb, Bishop Sankey and Devid Fluellen. Sankey could possibly be had at a bargain price with their depth.

Other trading partners could be either Dallas or KC. The Cowboys just drafted Ezekiel Elliot, to go along with Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and sixth-round pick Darius Jackson. McFadden would be the obvious choice to get cut loose. Especially with the way Morris ran this week. Would Dallas and Jerry Jones look to help Kraft and the Patriots out? Hmmm.

A more likely deal could be had with the Chiefs and Andy Reid. Knile Davis seems the odd man out in KC and he had an impressive playoff game against the Patriots a year ago, right up until his fumble.

But regardless, the situation with the Patriots running backs and Lewis went from a wait-and-see to a position of need. It was hoped that Lewis would be back to start the season. Now the earliest that will happen looks to be early November.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Patriots 2015 Opponents, Five First Impressions of the Cowboys

Steve Balestrieri
October 6, 2015 at 6:00 am ET

The Patriots are finished with their bye week break and now hit the road for back-to-back games, this week in Dallas against the Cowboys and then next Sunday against the Colts in Indianapolis.

The game is slated for a Sunday afternoon at 4:25 p.m. start time and we should see the top announcing crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on CBS on the call which will be broadcast locally on WBZ-TV.

The Cowboys (2-2), dropped a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in overtime as RB C.J. Spiller caught a Drew Brees pass on the second play in OT and rumbled 80 yards for the winning score. Prior to overtime, QB Brandon Weeden led Dallas to a 90-yard tying touchdown drive after what was a predominately lackluster game.

The Patriots (3-0) were on their bye week but in their last action during Week 3 they blasted the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17 as Tom Brady joined the 400 TD pass club.

Here are our Five First Impressions of the Cowboys:

Cowboys Banged Up, Injuries Piling Up: Injuries happen, it is a fact of life in the NFL but the rash of banged up bodies for the Cowboys can hardly be considered normal. They first lost top cornerback Orlando Scandrick during a training camp practice when he tore an ACL and was lost for the season. Then WR Dez Bryant, QB Tony Romo and DE Randy Gregory went down with different injuries.

On Sunday night in New Orleans, LB Sean Lee suffered a concussion and running back Lance Dunbar suffered a serious knee injury that is believed to have ended his season. WR Brice Butler who caught a 67-yard pass during the game tweaked a hamstring and is listed as day-to-day.

This is a good example of how fickle fate can be in the NFL; when the schedule came out, many were wondering how the Patriots would fare without Tom Brady who was facing a four game suspension. Now with his suspension vacated, Brady will start for the Patriots but it is the Cowboys offense that will be short-handed with the loss of both Romo and Bryant.

Dallas Defense Gets back McClain, Hardy This Week: It wasn’t all bad news coming out of Dallas this week. The defense received the good news that LB Rolando McClain and DE Greg Hardy will return from suspensions this week.

McClain’s suspension was also tied in with off-season knee surgery that caused him to miss much of the off-season workouts. He was the second leading tackler on the Cowboys last year with 108. Hardy was suspended under the personal conduct policy but it is his prowess at rushing the QB that caused Dallas to take a chance on him. Hardy has 27 sacks in his last 32 games and he’ll provide the Cowboys pass rush a huge boost. Fellow DE Gregory will also return to practice on Tuesday where the Cowboys will hold a walk-thru with the first major practice coming on Wednesday.

Getting Hardy and possibly Gregory back this week will be a big addition for the defense that will be expected to keep the Cowboys in the game on Sunday given the injuries on the offensive side of the football to Bryant, Romo and Dunbar.

With Lee going thru concussion protocols this week and his status uncertain, getting McClain back will definitely help out the defense as well although Anthony Hitchens, filling in for Lee on Sunday was very active, making plays all over the field.

Offensive Line Taking Heat For Underperforming: The Dallas offensive line was among the best, if not the best in the NFL last season. Running back DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant both turned in outstanding 2014 seasons that had the Cowboys within a controversial dropped pass call of going to the NFC Championship Game.

This year they just haven’t had the same dominance that one was expecting from the unit. Of course not having Romo and Bryant on the field has given opposing defenses the options of stacking the box without having the fear of their passing game. Murray now with the Eagles (you think he’d like to have a do-over?) lost the team a big runner as well.

Facing the Saints last week, Christine Michael only got a single carry, with the team relying on Darren McFadden mainly for blitz pickups. Look for the OL to try to regain some of their mojo with Michael this week against a Patriots team that hasn’t been great against the run.

Brandon Weeden May Be Looking Over His Shoulder: The Cowboys journeyman backup didn’t play exceptionally well but was ok against a so-so Saints defense until late in the fourth quarter when he led a 91-yard drive to tie the score. He finished the evening 16-26 for 246 yards and touchdown against New Orleans.

The offense is more limited with Weeden under center, which isn’t surprising. Relying more on the passes of the shorter variety, Weeden has completed 76 percent of his throws so far 45-59 for 551 yards and two touchdowns and one interception for a QB rating of 108. But in the NFL numbers at times can be deceiving. QBs have to win and Weeden as a starter has not. He’s now 0-10 in career starts. He’ll be looking for that elusive first win this week.

And if he falters this week, he may be looking at former Patriots backup Matt Cassel coming in on relief. After Romo went down the Cowboys brought in Cassel from the Bills to backup Weeden. But after a crash course in the Cowboys’ offense the past few weeks, it would not be inconceivable to see Brady’s former understudy come in if things don’t go well for Weeden.

Weeden will be looking to have a solid game and hold off Cassel until the time where Romo returns. In a NFC East where Dallas (2-2) is still in a tie for first, he won’t have the luxury of having very many more losses. So the pressure is on for him.

Check back later this week, we’ll have all the key matchups in our Razor’s Edge breakdown of the Cowboys – Patriots game as well as our prediction.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.