Patriots

Dion Lewis: 'Tough' to be out of the running

Dion Lewis: 'Tough' to be out of the running

FOXBORO -- The Patriots backfield is more crowded than Route 128 at rush hour, and that's even as Rex Burkhead deals with a rib injury that kept him out of last Sunday's game against the Texans. 

But while Mike Gillislee and James White have clear and defined roles, and the snaps that go with that, Dion Lewis sits and waits.

"It's tough," Lewis told me Wednesday, "but I just come every day, and try to work hard like I always do. My time will come. I know what kind of player I am. My teammates know what type of player I am. I'll get my chance and show people what I can do, but I don't really have no control over that."

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Lewis has gotten just 32 snaps on offense through the first three weeks of the season, and 12 touches. It appears as though Lewis is an afterthought, and he's not keen on being labeled as such, or feeling that way. That's made the first three weeks of the season very tough to watch.

"I want to be out there making plays," he said. "It's definitely tough -- a tough situation. I love playing football. I don't like to watch. It's tough. Things will work out. Eventually they'll work out, and when I get my chance, you'll see a lot of special things."

Lewis dazzled the hell out of us to start 2015, going from a bubble player in training camp to one of the most explosive players in the league through the first 6 1/2 games. Then came the knee injury and a setback at the start of last year. Even when Lewis returned at the tail end of 2016, he admitted the knee wasn't right. Now, the freshly minted 27-year-old (Wednesday was his birthday) wants to show he's all the way back.

That's why trade rumors that have involved him aren't worrisome at all. In fact, you could say he'd embraced that opportunity were it to come.

"It's not a distraction," he sad. "I don't really focus on that, but obviously teams know I'm not playing and they know I'm a good player, That's probably where that comes from. I have no control over that. The only thing I can control is how hard I work. That's what I do."

Lewis is in the last year of his contract. Hard for him to get paid sitting idle in the garage. He wants to run. Maybe it's here, maybe it's somewhere else, but that much is pretty clear.

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Kyrie Irving, Tom Brady on list of ESPN's most famous athletes

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Kyrie Irving, Tom Brady on list of ESPN's most famous athletes

ESPN posted its annual list of the 100 most famous athletes Tuesday, a study that combines how often they're searched online, how much they make in endorsements and what their following is on social media. 

As such, Tom Brady, whose social media presence is rather limited, was not the most famous Boston athlete. He was one of only two players currently on Boston teams to show up on the list. Kyrie Irving ranked No. 27, while Brady came in at No. 38. 

Isaiah Thomas, now a free agent and two teams removed from his Celtics days, ranked 92nd. 

The top five, in order, consisted of Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Roger Federer. 
 

Report: Brady, Gronk at TB12 despite skipping OTAs

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Report: Brady, Gronk at TB12 despite skipping OTAs

We can rule out travel for the reason as to why Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been missing OTAs. 

According to the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian, both Brady and Gronkowski were at TB12 Monday, which is located at Patriot Place right next to Gillette Stadium. 

Brady's absence from OTAs is notable, as the quarterback has not only gone to them in years past, but stressed their importance as it relates to preparing for the season. The two skipping out on OTAs does little to quell concerns about rifts between the Patriots and their star players.