Blount's most prominent play was a dubious one, as he had the ball ripped out by Falcons safety Deion Jones on the second play of the second quarter, giving Atlanta possession at its own 29-yard line. That turnover eventually resulted in a Devonta Freeman five-yard touchdown run, and the Patriots used Blount sparingly after that point. The scarcity of touches also came as a result of the four-possession deficit that New England found itself facing early into the third quarter, a scenario that largely froze Blount out of the action due to his minimal role in the passing game. An unrestricted free agent after playing on a one-year, $1 million contract in 2016, it remains to be seen if Blount will be brought back to serve as the team's primary two-down back.
Blount was a much bigger part of the game plan after playing second fiddle to Dion Lewis with only eight touches against the Texans last week. The 30-year-old veteran scored his team's lone rushing touchdown from one yard out in the third quarter for his 19th rushing score in 18 games. Finding running room in the Super Bowl won't be easy against a Falcons defense that hasn't allowed more than 34 yards on the ground to any non-quarterback this postseason.
Blount carried just eight times for 31 yards in Saturday's 34-16 divisional-round victory over the Texans.
The bruising back had been removed from the injury report on Friday after missing the prior two practices with an illness, yet still ceded the majority of backfield work to Dion Lewis on the night. Blount did get a goal-line opportunity late in the first half, but was stuffed for no gain at the one-yard line. Blount then saw his last two carries on New England's final possession, and he managed to rip off an 18-yard gain to the Texans' 47-yard line that took the clock down to the two-minute warning. Saturday's usage may have simply been a case of the Patriots opting to play it safe with one of their most valuable commodities, and Blount could therefore be back to a much more customary workload in next Sunday's conference championship.
The Patriots' bye week has helped the team enter the weekend in solid shape, health-wise. Blount, who led the NFL this past season with 18 rushing scores, is thus in line to serve as the Patriots' top power back Saturday, as usual, which gives him upside in TD-heavy formats even though he's likely to share carries with Dion Lewis, who has logged 45 rushing attempts over the squad's last three games.
Blount (illness) remained sidelined at Thursday's practice, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.
Back-to-back missed sessions are notable of course, but we'd still expect the running back to rally in time to suit up Saturday night against the Texans. We'll revisit Blount's status Friday, at which time we suspect that he'll either draw an official questionable designation or simply be removed from the Patriots' final injury report in advance of Saturday's playoff tilt.
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||7||201||1007||5.0||53||6||10||38|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||14||184||781||4.2||54||5||4||32|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||41||151||3.7||35||2||1||7|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||7||153||772||5.0||47||7||5||35|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||1||60||281||4.7||34||3||4||14|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||6||165||703||4.3||38||6||4||37|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||8||299||1161||3.9||44||18||7||67|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||7||5||14||2.8||7||0||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||14||15||148||9.9||35||0||2||0||6|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||1||2||2.0||2||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||7||2||38||19.0||32||0||1||0||1|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||1||4||18||4.5||11||0||0||0||1|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||6||6||43||7.2||14||1||0||0||3|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||8||7||38||5.4||16||0||0||0||1|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||17||494||29.1||83||0||2|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2010||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||4||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2011||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||5||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2012||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||16||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|