The New England Patriots running back situation has developed into a bit of a mess with the return of Kevin Faulk from injury. The situation is now all the more confusing courtesy of today's Patriots practice participation report. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was once again limited by his toe injury, while Kevin Faulk was limited due to a knee issue. Faulk is returning from a torn ACL so he will likely be worked in fairly slowly on the practice field.
This past weekend, Kevin Faulk ended up with the most carries for the Patriots, grabbing six of the twelve carries. Green-Ellis had five carries and tight end Aaron Hernandez had one. Stevan Ridley has apparently worked his way entirely out of the rotation.
There are a couple possible explanations for why Kevin Faulk ended up with the most carries. The first is that BenJarvus Green-Ellis' toe injury was sufficiently a concern that the Patriots did not want to aggravate. More likely is that the Patriots fell behind early, could not get much going, and had to focus in on the pass. Kevin Faulk's future with the Patriots in 2011 is as a passing down back. More than likely, when the Patriots do grab leads, Green-Ellis will handle the carries and when they are in passing situations and/or trailing, Faulk will work his way in more frequently.