When the news broke Monday that Shane Vereen would be out for a few weeks because of a fractured bone in his wrist, it was seen as a bit of bad luck, but he would be back soon.
If only we and Vereen were so lucky. The Patriots placed him on short-term injured reserve Tuesday. That means Vereen won't be able to practice for at least six weeks, and he won't be able to play in a game for eight weeks. The Patriots have their bye in Week 10, so Vereen won't play until Week 11 at the earliest.
Vereen is the Patriots' most versatile running back by far, so this is a huge shot to an offense that is already dealing with plenty of injuries. He should be thought of much like Percy Harvin or Michael Crabtree. If you can afford to use a roster spot on someone who won't help you until November, fine. But don't be afraid to release him if you need to.
Stevan Ridley will start on Thursday against the Jets and is an RB2. LeGarrette Blount , Leon Washington , and perhaps Brandon Bolden will pitch in. The Patriots probably need to follow the Giants' lead and kick the tires on a veteran RB for depth.