Sep 22, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (22) runs out of a tackle by Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the fourth quarter of a game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Buccaneers 23-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Stevan Ridley Continues Disappointing Start with New England Patriots

New England running back Stevan Ridley was awfully quiet in the 23-3 win by the Patriots over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium finishing with 35 yards on 11 carries and one reception for another eight yards.

The former LSU Tiger taken in the third round in the 2011 NFL draft was supposed to be a big component of the Pats offense this season after he rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago. However, the first three games for Ridley have been a disappointment. Ridley has a total of 121 yards on 36 carries and has yet to reach pay dirt.

With Ridley struggling the Pats turned to Shane Vereen who ran for more than 100 yards in the season opening win over the Buffalo Bills and with him injured have turned to former seventh round pick LeGarrette Blount and undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss Brandon Bolden to supplement the rushing attack.

Blount led the team in rushing Sunday with 65 yards on 14 carries for an average of 4.6 or 1.4 yards more than Ridley per rush. Bolden had three carries for 51 yards which included a nice 46-yard run and proved valuable in the passing game with five receptions for 49 more yards.

It’ll still be a few more weeks until Vereen is able to return from his injury, but in the interim Ridley better start showing the form that made him one of the best backs in the NFL last season if he doesn’t want to lose any more touches to Blount or Bolden.

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Tags: Football LSU Tigers New England Patriots Stevan Ridley

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