In typical Bill Belichick style, the New England Patriots listed 11 players as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Among those include running back Shane Vereen, who hurt his groin against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday. He’s been listed as questionable and has been limited in practice.
After already clinching a playoff berth in last week’s victory, this Week 17 game carries just as much weight. With a win, the Patriots will receive a first-round bye. Their best opportunity for that in the run game is in the sure hands of Shane Vereen, who has only played in 7 games this season.
Stevan Ridley had become a decent backup in Vereen’s absence. The Patriots still boast an 11-4 record as Ridley averaged 4.2 yards a carry and had 7 touchdowns. But even a Hall of Fame quarterback can’t control how frequently your running back fumbles, which Vereen did in 3 consecutive games.
Vereen is the steady hand. He has fumbled once in 3 seasons with the Patriots compared to Ridley’s 9 in the same amount of time. The old football adage, “turnovers lose games” could hold true if Vereen doesn’t play this Sunday. The Bills have a great opportunity to make their division rivals chances just a little bit tougher in the playoffs, don’t expect them to roll over so easily.