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Shane Vereen has lost hard cast; fantasy return could be on the way

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The Patriots could really use the running back, who had a huge Week 1. We break down the fantasy implications.

New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen was seen without the hard cast on his wrist Thursday, according to Boston Herald beat reporter Jeff Howe. The running back has been out since Week 1 after injuring a bone in his wrist.

Vereen ran for 101 yards in Week 1 and added 58 receiving yards, leading fantasy owners to consider him a good option going forward. That thought lasted about a day, when news of Vereen's injury came out, and he went on the team's injured reserve with designation to return. He is eligible to resume practice next week, and could be back after New England's Week 10 bye.

In his absence, the Patriots have had trouble getting the running game going. Stevan Ridley has average 4.0 yards on his 67 carries, with LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden providing middling production behind Ridley.

Fantasy impact: Fantasy owners who have been holding on to Vereen since his big Week 1 are champing at the bit for his return, which is still at least a month away. The team plays Carolina, Denver and Houston in its first three games after the bye.

Considering New England's general offensive struggles, it seems likely the team will put Vereen right back into the game plan when he's able to return. That means he could be in line for a handful of touches in both the rushing and the passing game. If he's been dropped in any leagues, he should be picked up and stashed.

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