The Patriots came into the week with a deep backfield, but thinned it out a bit when they dealt Sony Michel to the Rams for a pair of draft picks.
Among the likely reasons they felt comfortable dealing Michel was the way rookie Rhamondre Stevenson has played since arriving as a fourth-round pick earlier this year. Stevenson opened the preseason by running 10 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He followed that up with 15 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns and is set to get chances in the regular season alongside fellow backs Damien Harris, James White, J.J. Taylor, and Brandon Bolden.
Stevenson may have earned a place in the offense, but he said Friday that he’s not changing anything in the wake of the trade.
“Honestly I try not to even get into the business side of that or anything,” Stevenson said, via WEEI.com. “I’m here. If he was here, I would still be working as hard as I would work after whatever happened and whatnot. So I don’t think that really changes anything for me. I just know that I’ve got to work hard — and I wouldn’t even say harder or anything like that. You gotta work hard and just stay focused on the task at hand.”
The fortunes and status of players can shift over the course of a season and Stevenson’s role in November might look a lot different than it does in September, but the Michel trade suggests he’ll have one and that was far from a sure thing heading into the summer.