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Double-threat will be sorely missed

Posted by David Sabino  September 9, 2013 06:30 PM

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vereen.jpgThe news that Shane Vereen will be missing from the Patriots backfield for at least eight weeks on short-term injured reserve while recovering from a broken bone in his wrist is a serious blow to an offense already rife with question marks. The third-year man's opening week productivity — he was the only running back to gain 100-yards on the ground through Sunday's games—came mostly after he suffered the injury, which makes what he did even more impressive.

Playing in relief of Stevan Ridley who was benched the entire second half after fumbling issues, Vereen played a major role in the Pats’ come-from-behind victory against the Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park, rushing for 101 yards while picking up another 58 yards on seven catches to become just the second player in franchise history with as many as 100 rushing yards and seven catches in the same contest. The first was by Curtis Martin who ran for 120 yards with eight catches in a 41-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 16, 1995 at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium.

Vereen also joined Ridley among the six Patriots (in 54 opening games) to run for over 100 yards in Week 1. Three of the previous five did so at the start of a 1,000-yard season, something that the injury will make make virtually impossible for Vereen to achieve. Here’s the complete list:vereen22.jpg

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Stats Driven is powered by David Sabino, who over the last two decades has been a source of statistical analysis on the pages of Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune. David has written about all seven recent Boston-area championships for Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, was the creator of such long time features as SI’s Player Value Ranking, NBA Player Rating and long running fantasy football and baseball columns.

He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.

Now living in Marblehead, he’s focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.

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