Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount has been placed on injured reserve and is out for the season with a hip injury.
Blount, 29, ran for 703 yards on 165 carries this season, scoring six touchdowns to lead the team. He is the second key loss in the New England backfield this season, with Dion Lewis on injured reserve.
Brandon Bolden and James White remain as the Patriots’ options at running back. The team signed free agent Montee Ball to their practice squad Tuesday. Bolden has carried 35 times for 100 yards this season, and White has rushed for 41 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries to go with 26 receptions for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
Blount’s injury is the latest in a slew of injuries for the defending Super Bowl champions, who saw safety Devin McCourty and linebacker Jonathan Freeny go down on Sunday in addition to Blount and defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who has been placed on injured reserve. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and receiver Julian Edelman are also out with injuries.
The Patriots also released receiver Damaris Johnson, and claimed receiver Leonard Hankerson and offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, recently waived by the Falcons and Lions, respectively.
- Jeremy Woo