Stevan Ridley didn’t fumble for the second week in a row since he was placed on the inactive list for the 34-31 win over the Houston Texans after three consecutive games in which the former third round pick out of LSU lost a fumble, but he is still in Bill Belichick’s doghouse.
Ridley has received eight carries in the two games since returning to action with 34 and 35 yards, respectively in the two games and has returned to the pedestrian form he showed in the first month of the season when he never topped 53 yards, 16 carries or reached the end zone.
LeGarrette Blount once again led the team in carries (11) and yards (47) and I’m wondering if the player we saw score seven touchdowns in a five-game span from Oct. 13 to Nov. 18 will ever appear again and if he’s in danger of losing his spot on the Patriots roster next year.
Shane Vereen provides more of a threat in the game and Blount has been steady, if not spectacular, for the Pats. While speculating on his role in the future is far off, his present role with the team is murky.
Does Belichick trust him to put the ball in his hands with the Patriots fighting for home field advantage in the AFC playoffs? I don’t think he does, but with the Patriots coming off a relatively stunning 24-20 loss in the final seconds to the Miami Dolphins he may have to force him to trust him because when he’s on, we’ve seen just how good he can be and the balance he brings to the offense.
Tom Brady passed 55 times on Sunday for 364 yards which makes for great fantasy numbers, but that’s not the type of balance Belichick desires and you can’t win in the postseason without running the football.
It may be time for Belichick to put his trust in Ridley and give him another chance to work himself out of the doghouse. He just may surprise everyone with his nose for the end zone.