By David Austin Bumpus 11/15/15
After a strong performance in the first half of the season, Patriots running back Dion Lewis will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Lewis suffered the injury late in the third quarter in New England’s win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday, after being hit from behind by a Redskins defensive lineman.
The loss of Lewis for the Patriots is a big one, as the running back had taken over as the team’s starter in his first year in New England. Lewis tallied 234 rushing yards on 49 carries in his seven games played this season, and caught 36 passes for 388 yards. Lewis also had two rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.
Lewis turned into a workhorse for the Patriots throughout the season, known for his reliability as both a running and receiving member of the backfield, and for his playmaking ability. He averaged close to five yards a carry, and 11 yards a catch.
The Patriots have been notorious for their ability to adapt to any situation, especially injuries, at any position, evident by their offensive line this season. Lewis’ injury may hurt the team at first, but running backs LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, and James White will fill the void left by the loss.
Blount had one of his best games of the season when Lewis was hurt, rushing for 129 yards on 29 carries for one touchdown. His role will be expanded with the loss, along with more playing time for Bolden and White to balance the load. Bolden made a quick impact replacing Lewis against the Redskins, catching an 18-yard touchdown from Tom Brady early in the fourth quarter.
Lewis signed a two-year contract extension in October, and will look to return to his starting role and his usual strong performances for next season.