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.