Shane Vereen injury: Patriots RB questionable to return with groin issue

Mike Ehrmann

Vereen has been crucial to New England's passing attack this season as the primary target out of the backfield for Tom Brady.

In the second quarter of New England's game against the Ravens, Patriots running back Shane Vereen has been taken to the locker room with an injured groin. His return is questionable, the team announced.

Vereen has been used as New England's pass-catching back this season, hauling in 43 receptions before Sunday's action. A testament to his role in the offense, Vereen caught a career-high 12 passes for 153 yards two weeks ago in a win over Cleveland. The former Cal standout has 580 yards from scrimmage and two combined touchdowns.

Stevan Ridley -- expected to be the feature back for New England this season -- struggled with fumbling problems early in the season. The running back situation for Bill Belichick has been haphazard at best, with LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden also getting carries. Despite the turmoil, Vereen has provided a bit of stability in his role as pass-catcher. He and Julian Edelman have been Tom Brady's most consistent options through the air this season.

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