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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 26: James White #28 of the New England Patriots is carted off the field in the second quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Patriots struggled offensively against the Saints in Sunday’s 28-13 loss. Things got especially tough after they lost one of their best skill position players early in the game.

Early in the second quarter, James White turned a shotgun sweep handoff into a six-yard gain and first down on 3rd & 3. However, White remained down on the sideline after the play.

Most of White’s teammates came to check on him as he was moved to a waiting cart. Shortly after he left the field, the Patriots updated his status as ‘out’ for the rest of the game.

White missing any period of time would be a crucial blow to the Patriots offense. Entering Sunday’s game, the 29-year-old was the team’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 94 yards.

Without White, the Patriots’ running back depth will be tested. Rhamondre Stevenson has been a healthy scratch since a rough performance in Week 1, which led to special teams mainstay Brandon Bolden playing 32 offensive snaps against the Saints. He ended up carrying the ball three times for a total of -1 yard, and caught three passes for 23 yards.

If the Patriots need to add a running back, they do have an open roster spot available (although N’Keal Harry and Malcolm Perry are eligible to return from IR this week). Some notable current free agents at the position include Todd Gurley, Duke Johnson, T.J. Yeldon, and DeAndre Washington.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.