NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
The New England Patriots’ Week 11 loss to the Carolina Panthers ended in controversy, 24-20. But there was nothing controversial about the difference third-year halfback Shane Vereen made in his return from short-term injured reserve.
The 2011 second-round draft pick was promoted to the 53-man roster Monday afternoon after missing the last eight games with a broken wrist, suffered during a 159-yard all-purpose performance in Week 1. Yet while Vereen was reportedly in line to be “eased” back, his role in the primetime battle in Charlotte, N.C., proved to be far less gradual.
It was like he never left.
The 5’10”, 205-pound California Golden Bear was on the field as early as New England’s second offensive play and as late as the final play, tallying 34 snaps. Over that span, he was used in pass protection and took only one seven-yard handoff from quarterback Tom Brady. The ball-carrier’s value, however, was demonstrated prominently under another title: receiver. (more…)