Patriots Audition RBs Orleans Darkwa, Charles Sims

The Patriots worked out free agent running backs Orleans Darkwa and Charles Sims, as well as receiver/returner Brandon Tate, on Tuesday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

New England placed running back Jeremy Hill on injured reserve earlier today, but they also signed Kenjon Barner, so it’s unclear if the club is still interested in adding another runner. Barner is more a returner than a true back, so it’s possible the Patriots want to bring in another back to complement Rex Burkhead, James White, and Sony Michel, the latter of whom was inactive on Sunday.

Playing for the Giants in 2017, Darkwa posted the best campaign of his NFL tenure in by setting career-highs in starts (11), rushes (171), yards (751), and touchdowns (five). Football Outsiders ranked Darkwa as a top-25 running back in both DYAR and DVOA (meaning he was both effective overall and efficient on a per-play basis), while Pro Football Focus noted his ability to create his own yardage. Darkwa previously met with the Patriots back in April.

Sims, meanwhile, has shown flashes of ability during his run in the NFL, especially during a 2015 campaign in which he caught 51 passes for the Buccaneers. While he’s never been much of a ball-carrier (he handled a career-high 107 carries in that 2015 season), Sims is a viable pass-catcher, but he doesn’t contribute on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Patriots Audition RBs Orleans Darkwa, Charles Sims

  1. Clark K

    The first name I thought of after hearing about Hill’s injury was Darkwa. Barner is probably gonna be the punt return guy as the Pats released Riley McCarron whom was their punt returner week 1.

  2. BoSoxWin

    It’s scary to think the Pats only have Burkhead, White and Michel as active RBs now (Develin doesn’t count). If for some reason they don’t sign either one of these guys, don’t be surprised to see Brandon Bolden back on the team. Bill loves known quantities; especially those who contribute on special teams and Bolden can certainly do that!

    Given his running style, Darkwa seems to make a lot of sense. While we all want to see what Michel can do, he’s still nursing a knee injury and I’d hate to see them have to use him against that nasty Jags D this week just because of the numbers game.

    In Bill We Trust!!!

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