Patriots rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson returned to the active lineup in Sunday’s win over the Texans, and came close to delivering the go-ahead play in their fourth-quarter comeback.
Stevenson played 22 offensive snaps on Sunday, topping the five he played against the Dolphins in Week 1. Stevenson spent Weeks 2-4 on the inactive list before returning against Houston. His usage reflected limited snaps for Damien Harris (21), who appeared to be benched after fumbling at the goal line and also briefly left with a reported chest injury.
But the fact that Stevenson rose to the active roster in Houston, while J.J. Taylor was inactive, indicates that the rookie back out of Oklahoma was going to be part of the game plan either way. Stevenson finished with 11 carries for 23 yards, and had a late-fourth-quarter touchdown nullified by an illegal shift penalty.
It’s unclear whether Stevenson showed enough to earn a more regular role in the Patriots’ running back rotation going forward. But if Harris ends up missing time or snaps due to injury, they may have no choice.
Here’s a more in-depth look at how the Patriots used their offensive personnel against the Texans…