Gillislee may be a cap casualty for the Patriots during the offseason, Jake Levin of NBC 10 Boston reports. Signed to a two-year, $6.4 million contract last April, Gillislee opened 2017 as the Patriots' lead runner and scored four touchdowns the first two weeks, but averaged only 3.7 yards per carry on the season and mostly served as a healthy scratch from October onward. The 27-year-old does have a couple things working in his favor, with his front-heavy contract carrying a modest 2018 cap charge of approximately $2.2 million, while teammates Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead are set to become unrestricted free agents. Even if both players head elsewhere and Gillislee is retained, the Patriots likely will find a draft pick or free agent to provide competition for carries. James White is locked in as the Patriots' pass-catching specialist and is signed through 2020.
Gillislee finished the 2017 season with 104 carries for 383 yards and five TDs to go along with one catch for 15 yards in nine games. As he was at times down the stretch during the regular season, Gillislee was a healthy scratch for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Eagles. The 27-year-old scored four of his TDs in the Patriots' first two games and subsequently saw teammate Dion Lewis supplant him as the team's top back. Gillislee remains under contract with New England in 2018, but it's not out of the question that the Patriots consider parting ways with him, with the running back's contract for next season not calling for any guaranteed money.
Gillislee (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Eagles. Gillislee avoided the injury report this week, suggesting the knee injury that's plagued him in the second half of the season was behind him. After calling himself a game-time decision for this game Wednesday, the relative health of the Patriots backfield likely made head coach Bill Belichick's decision an easy one. With Gillislee on the sideline again, the Patriots will rely on Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead to man the running back position.
Gillislee (knee) does not carry an injury designation for Super Bowl LII. Gillislee is thus slated to be available for Sunday's game against the Eagles, though with Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead also in the Patriots' backfield mix, it's possible that Gillislee could be made inactive for the contest in the event that the team chooses not to suit up four running backs.
Though not listed on the Patriots' injury report after practicing fully Wednesday, Gillislee (knee) calls himself a game-time decision for Super Bowl LII, WEEI.com reports. "As far as health-wise, I am almost there," Gillislee noted Wednesday. "I am not where I want to be. I have battled a couple of injuries this year, but I was able to be healthy this week enough to practice. That has been great." Given his current level of practice participation, Gillislee is clearly trending in the right direction in terms of his potential availability for Sunday's game against the Eagles. That said, Gillislee is not a lock to suit up for the contest even if he is physically capable of doing so, with Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead also in the Patriots' backfield mix.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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