With RB Dion Lewis yet to practice -- and looking questionable for the start of the regular season -- RB James White appears to be controlling the 3rd-down back job. In reviewing White's blitz-protection work during Saturday's practice, Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald referred to how important that will be on 3rd downs, "when White is in the backfield." It's not a surprising role for White, who caught 40 passes vs. just 22 carries last season as a 2nd-year pro. But it might offer some clarity in a fairly muddled backfield picture. As long as Lewis remains out, White will carry some PPR upside. At the least, he makes sense as a late-round handcuff to Lewis right now. As we get closer to the season, no Lewis would make White more of a standalone fantasy target. He's barely getting drafted right now.
Patriots RB James White is retiring, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Many reports have had White continuing to have issues in his recovery from the hip injury that ended his 2021 campaign, so this doesn't come as a surprise. Rookie Pierre Strong might be the most direct replacement for White's skills and role, but we'll see how the renovated backfield splits up passing-down work. For now, Strong carries upside at the end of fantasy football drafts.
Pats RB James White remains without a “clear timetable” to come off the PUP list, per insider Jeff Howe. The possibility remains that White, who’s rehabbing a hip injury, stays on the PUP list to start the season. Rhamondre Stevenson remains the favorite for passing-down work.
Patriots RB James White (hip) has been placed on the PUP list to begin training camp. It's no surprise after he missed all offseason workouts and was reportedly still walking with an "uncomfortable gait" at a recent charity event. 30 years old and coming off significant hip surgery, White's availability and effectiveness in 2022 are in serious question. He's not worth a pick in fantasy drafts right now.
ESPN's Mike Reiss reports that Patriots RB James White was "walking with what appeared to be an uncomfortable gait" at a recent community appearance. White is coming off a hip injury that ended his 2021 season in Week 3. It would obviously not be a good sign for his 2022 readiness if he's not yet able to walk normally. We'll see about his official status as training camp gets going, but we're not expecting much this season from White. Don't be shocked if the veteran doesn't even make the regular-season roster.
Patriots insider Alex Barth writes, "initial reports suggest [RB James White] may not be fully cleared to play by the start of the season." White is working his way back from a significant hip surgery last September and was limited in spring workouts. We'll track his progress throughout the summer, but he's not a very appealing pick in early fantasy drafts. Barth believes rookie RB Pierre Strong is the "best fit" to fill White's pass-catching role if he's not ready for the start of the season.
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