Following a reception in the second quarter of the team’s 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Sunday’s Week Three matchup at Gillette Stadium, New England Patriots running back James White appeared to land hard along the sideline. Immediately upon hitting the ground, White was seen grabbing his upper leg as he remained down on the field.
White was carted off the field, as players from both teams came over to him, showing their support for the three-time Super Bowl champion. Shortly thereafter, the Patriots announced that White would not return to the game, the result of a hip injury.
On Monday, it was revealed that White underwent further tests and has reportedly suffered a subluxation of the hip according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Giardi. As a result the 29-year-old will be “out indefinitely.”
White signed a one-year deal with the Patriots in the offseason. His return to New England was a pleasant surprise, as he had reportedly explored ‘a few’ options in free agency. In fact, it had been widely speculated that White might find more appealing playing options outside of New England. Yet, the four-time Patriots team captain agreed to once again call New England his football home, for at least one more season.
Since being drafted by the Patriots in the fourth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft, White has become one of the most beloved and revered players in team history. While quite adept at running the football, White’s prowess is primarily linked to his ability to catch passes. Historically speaking, White is also one of the more highly-decorated all-time New England Patriots. He is a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pats; his most memorable postseason run coming in 2016, which saw him score the game-winning touchdown in overtime of Super Bowl LI. He was also named a member of the Patriots All-Dynasty Team.
The Pats team captain has been one of their most reliable offensive players in 2021. White was actually the Patriots leading pass catcher in week two, receiving six passes on six targets for 45 yards. He also ran five times for 20 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly, White has become a favorite target of quarterback Mac Jones. His dual-threat capabilities (both as a receiver, as well as a runner) will be hard to replicate. It also weakens a running back corps that is already looking a bit thin. With Sony Michel now in Los Angeles, the Pats employ Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, Brandon Bolden as veteran options. Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson has had his issues with ball control, leading to his ‘healthy scratch’ status for the past two games. With White apparently set to miss significant time, it not only hastens Stevenson’s timetable for development, but also puts additional pressure on the Pats runners to produce in an offense that needs as many effective options as possible.