Shark Bites

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) is expected back for Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Jaguars, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Burkhead was limited in practice last week and was close to playing on Saturday night vs. Tennessee, Rapoport adds. New England got 181 total yards and 2 TDs from RBs Dion Lewis and James White in the win over the Titans but will certainly welcome back Burkhead's versatile skill set.

Patriots RBs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee are inactive for tonight's game against the Titans with their knee injuries. RB James White (ankle) is active and figures to play in passing situations behind Dion Lewis.

Patriots RB James White (ankle) is expected to return for tonight’s game against the Titans. He’s officially questionable. If active, White would carry nice PPR appeal against a defense Football Outsiders rates 7th vs. the run and 32nd in RB pass coverage

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB Rex Burkhead and RB Mike Gillislee aren’t expected to play tonight against the Titans. Both backs enter the day questionable. Their absences would help the fantasy outlooks for Dion Lewis and James White, who is expected to return

Patriots RB James White (ankle) is listed as questionable for Saturday night's game against the Titans after a limited week of practice. He told insider Jeff Howe on Thursday afternoon that he's healthy enough to play. We'll find out for sure 90 minutes before kickoff. White could play an expanded role vs. a Tennessee defense that finished the regular season dead last in Football Outsiders' RB coverage rankings.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) is listed as questionable for Saturday night's game against the Titans. After noticeably favoring his injured leg on Wednesday, Burkhead "made some nice progress" on Thursday, according to insider Jeff Howe. We'll find out his official status around 7 pm ET on Saturday. He'll be a risk/reward fantasy play if active. Dion Lewis remains the best fantasy bet in New England's backfield.

Patriots insider Jeff Howe notes that RB Rex Burkhead was still sporting a brace on his left knee during Wednesday's practice. Burkhead was reportedly favoring that left leg during the stretching period. "If he’s available Saturday, it’d appear he’ll be limited," Howe opined. A limited Burkhead would mean more action for the red-hot Dion Lewis. We'll continue to track Burkhead's progress leading up to Saturday night's game vs. the Titans.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) was officially limited in Tuesday's practice. He got back on the practice field last week and is expected to play against the Titans this weekend. But it'd be nice to see him get in a full workout over the next couple of days. RB James White (ankle) was also limited on Tuesday, while RB Mike Gillislee (knee) did not practice.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) returned to practice on Wednesday. That puts him on track to play in the Divisional Round, which has been the expectation all along. Burkhead averaged 7.6 carries and 4 targets across his last 7 games before suffering that knee injury. RB Mike Gillislee (knee) remained sidelined on Wednesday.

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Patriots S Devin McCourty (shoulder) is active. He entered the day questionable but is OK to use as you normally would in IDP lineups.

11:12am EST 12/31/17

Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy is active for today's game against the Jets after missing the past 3 contests with a calf injury. He's tough to trust in that 1st game back, however, with his outlook further muddied by the 12-degree weather in Foxborough. IDP owners should try to go in a different direction.

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Patriots RB James White (ankle) is inactive for today’s game against the Jets. Dion Lewis will operate as New England’s feature back and is a good bet for 20+ touches.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB James White (ankle) is not expected to play against the Jets today. With RBs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee also out with their knee injuries, New England is down to RBs Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden. Look for Lewis to get as much as he can handle. He's a locked-in RB1 for Week 17.

Patriots S Devin McCourty (shoulder) and LB Kyle Van Noy (calf) are questionable for Sunday's finale against the Jets. Van Noy has missed the past 3 games with this injury and probably isn't a good play even if active. McCourty hasn't missed a snap in the past 3 games and put in limited practices all week. We'll confirm each player's status on Sunday.

11:12am EST 12/24/17

Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy (calf) is inactive for today's game against the Bills. Elandon Roberts was the only New England LB to play at least 50% of the snaps with Van Noy out last week. Roberts is your best bet if you need/want a Patriots LB. This is not a situation to bet heavily on in your IDP lineup this week, though.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Patriots RB James White (ankle) is not expected to play against the Bills today. He entered the weekend questionable. With White and Rex Burkhead out, New England is expected to have only Dion Lewis, Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden active in the backfield. There's potential for Lewis to increase his goal-line chances and pass targets. Gillislee carries TD upside, though it's tough to know how big his role after he spent the past 6 weeks as a healthy scratch. He's only a DFS option. Bolden is almost solely a special-teams contributor.

The Patriots are "optimistic" that RB Rex Burkhead (knee) will be back for the playoffs, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Burkhead has been diagnosed with a sprained knee and is expected to miss the final 2 weeks of the regular season. It's a big loss considering he'd averaged 7.6 carries, 4 targets and 1 TD per game over the last 7. RB Dion Lewis figures to pick up most of Burkhead's ball-carrying role. The targets could be split between Lewis and RB James White. We'll see if RB Mike Gillislee is active for Sunday's game against the Bills.

ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that Patriots RB Rex Burkhead's knee injury is not believed to be major. Schefter specifically mentions that Burkhead's ACL is intact. "He could miss a little time," though, Schefter adds. We'll look for a more detailed diagnosis tomorrow, but we wouldn't count on Burkhead playing against the Bills in Week 16. That'd leave Dion Lewis as New England's lead back, James White in an expanded pass-catching role and possibly Mike Gillislee back on the active roster.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead suffered a left knee injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game in Pittsburgh and was quickly ruled out for the rest of the contest. That, of course, suggests a serious injury. We'll look for an update after the game.

The Patriots have ruled LB Kyle Van Noy (calf) out for Sunday's game against the Steelers.

 
 
 

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