Shane Vereen eligible to return for Patriots this week

Getty Images

The Patriots have been playing without running back Shane Vereen since he racked up 159 total yards of offense in Week One because of a wrist injury, but they can get him back on the field this week.

Vereen is eligible to be activated from injured reserve and has been practicing for the last couple of weeks to prepare himself for a return to the field. The Patriots haven’t said what their plans are for the running back against the Panthers next Monday night, but offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said that Vereen is going to be playing once the team restores him to the active roster.

“As soon as he’s ready and able to help us and we are able to play him, certainly he will have a role in the game,” McDaniels said, via the Boston Globe. “He definitely did make a big impact in Game One. I don’t know if we can expect him to do that right off the bat in his first game back, whenever that is, [but] we’ll look forward to having him back.”

The Patriots have generally had good success running the ball this season, but they haven’t had anyone make much of an impact as a receiver out of the backfield. Vereen could fill that role, increasing the options available to Tom Brady down the stretch and into the postseason.