Belichick suggests Lewis needs to shake off some rust before playing


FOXBORO -- When the Patriots activated Dion Lewis to their 53-man roster on Saturday, the thinking was that he might be in line to make his 2016 debut against the Seahawks on Sunday night. That was not the case, as it turned out. The Patriots deemed him inactive before kickoff. 

When asked about leaving Lewis off of his game-day roster, Patriots coach Bill Belichick suggested that it wasn't due to health concerns. 

"He wouldn’t have been on the injury report," Belichick said. "He wasn’t activated until Saturday, but he wouldn’t have been on the injury report . . . Players that haven't played for a year, they haven't played for a year."

Belichick's comments suggest that the team would like to get Lewis more practice time before he sees game action. After suffering a patella fracture before the start of the season, Lewis was placed on the physically unable to perform list, and he did not practice with the team until Oct. 27.

The Patriots are in a good situation with their overall health in that they had every player available to them for Sunday night. None of the players who were ruled out were ruled out because of injury.

"We have to inactivate seven players, so we can always talk about the ones who weren’t active," Belichick said. "Could they have been active? We’ve had a lot of healthy guys. We would have been able to activate a lot of them. Those seven, we probably would have played most of them.

"So, every week we have to take the players we feel are the best for that game. That takes everything into consideration, which is a very long list of things to consider. In the end, we take the 46 players we feel will give us the best chance for that game on that day. Guys that are injured, they can’t play. That’s not a conversation, so they’re obviously on the list. The other players, that’s the discussion."

With Lewis unavailable, the Patriots went with three running backs in uniform. LeGarrette Blount saw most of the work, taking 21 carries on 37 snaps. James White played 29 snaps, catching four passes for 32 yards and carrying twice for five yards. Brandon Bolden was also active for the game, but his contributions came stictly on special teams. 

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