Steven Jackson was on the field for 11 of the New England Patriots ' 83 offensive snaps in Sunday's 20-18 loss to the Broncos in the AFC title game, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.
Jackson, who carried four times for eight yards with a TD in the game, is slated to become a free agent this offseason, and at this stage it's unclear how much interest the Patriots will have in retaining the 32-year-old Jackson, who logged 21 carries for 50 yards and a TD for the team in two regular season contests in 2015.
The 32-year-old received limited opportunity on the ground, with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski all on the field for the first time since November. On the other hand, Jackson was essentially the entire
Meanwhile, James White saw 23 snaps, while Brandon Bolden was on the field for 17 while also seeing special teams work. As the postseason approaches, the Patriots figure to employ some form of a running back committee, though at this stage, coach Bill Belichick indicates that the team believes Jackson can help out on all three downs, a scenario that makes the veteran newcomer worthy of targeting in postseason formats, with the understanding that White figures to remain the team's primary pass-catching back.
Steven Jackson ran for 35 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. He also grabbed his only target for a 20-yard gain.
The veteran was more effective in his second game as a Patriot, but he hit the sidelines early, along with the rest of the starters, because of the team's overall poor showing. Jackson received the most carries of any New England back Sunday, and he should carry a heavy load in the postseason, along with Branden Bolden and James White. The New England Patriots will go on bye next weekend before beginning their postseason run the following week.
Looking ahead, we'd expect Jackson's role in the Patriots' offense to increase, but for the time being, Brandon Bolden (27 snaps Sunday) remains in the team's early-down mix, and James White's pass-catching role should remain stable. It's an arrangement that makes Jackson a speculative fantasy play in Week 17 against the Dolphins, though the veteran power back could emerge as a fantasy factor by the time the postseason rolls around.