Patriots running back Shane Vareen hasn't practiced since coming down with a left foot injury two weeks ago, and he won't play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. The team officially ruled him out on Friday. This means Stevan Ridley should handle the large majority of the touches out of the Patriots' backfield. Danny Woodhead will also chip in.
It's always hard to gauge how Bill Belichick will manage his running backs, but I see little reason for trepidation this week. Danny Woodhead is just a third-down back, and there's really no one else available in this group right now that can threaten Ridley's carry count. The Titans allowed the seventh-most points to running backs last season, and I think Ridley is a rock-solid RB2 in Week 1. I disagree with his current ranking of No. 31.