Out-of-nowhere star running back Dion Lewis was supposed to be a huge part of the Patriots offensive plans for 2016, but Lewis dealt with complications this offseason that required a second knee surgery.
An August surgery left no timetable for his return, and the Patriots have been forced to look elsewhere for pass-catching help out of the backfield, leaning heavily on James White as a slightly-less-rich man's Lewis.
The Patriots offense has been absolutely rolling, though, and it's only about to get better, because Lewis was added to the active roster on Saturday.
Making Lewis active was somewhat of a formality, as the Pats appeared poised to do just that on Friday, but didn't make it official until just over 24 hours before their game against the Seahawks on Sunday night.
Lewis burst onto the scene last year before an ACL injury knocked him out in Week 9, averaging more than seven yards per touch and serving as a dynamic, dual-threat weapon for Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels.
The former Pittsburgh Panthers star was one of the most elusive players in the entire NFL last year, as noted by our own Jared Dubin when he examined how Lewis' return would impact the Pats:
Lewis shattered the record for Pro Football Focus' Elusive Rating, which measures a player's ability to break tackles and generate yards after contact. By forcing an incredible 43 missed tackles on 85 touches and averaging 3.25 yards after contact per attempt, Lewis recorded an Elusive Rating of 168.4; the previous single-season high in PFF's database, which goes back to 2007, was 106.9. Blount was not kidding when he said Lewis is nasty in the open field.
So the best offense in football, which already features one physical back (LeGarrette Blount), the most dangerous tight end in the game (Rob Gronkowski), a second tight end who is probably top 10 in the NFL at the position (Martellus Bennett) and a pass-catching back (White) is about to get another pass-catching back.
Imagine the possibilities for the personnel formations the Patriots can use. If you're a fan of offense, it's drool-worthy. And if you're a defensive coordinator on New England's schedule, don't plan on sleeping much.