The Patriots continued their winning ways on Sunday, moving to 8-0 with a victory over Washington. However, an offense that has been plagued by injuries this season has been dealt a serious blow. According to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe (via Twitter), running back Dion Lewis will miss the rest of the 2015 season with a torn ACL.
Lewis, 25, was in the midst of a breakout year in New England, one that earned him a contract extension and has seen him become one of Tom Brady‘s favorite targets. In addition to rushing for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his seven games, Lewis added another 388 receiving yards and two TDs on 36 receptions. Those 36 catches placed the former fifth-round pick third on the team, behind Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.
So far this season, the Patriots’ injuries on offense have been primarily on the offensive line, where nearly every position has been hit by health problems over the last couple months. Lewis is the first skill-position player to go down with a major injury this season, so Brady will still have plenty of weapons at his disposal. Still, New England will have to change its game plan going forward with Lewis no longer in the mix.
LeGarrette Blount figures to take over the majority of the rushing duties in Lewis’ absence, with Brandon Bolden perhaps getting more looks as a receiver out of the backfield. James White should also see a little more action, and the Patriots could explore adding another back to the roster once Lewis officially lands on the injured reserve list.