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Report: Talks on LeGarrette Blount return to Patriots in “infant stages”

New England Patriots v Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13: An injured LeGarrette Blount #29 of the New England Patriots walks toward the locker room while the Patriots play the Houston Texans in the second quarter on December 13, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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The Patriots closed the season without running back LeGarrette Blount after Blount suffered a hip injury that required him to go on injured reserve.

Blount didn’t need to have surgery to repair the injury and is expected to be ready to go for next season. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that talks about Blount making that return to the field with the Patriots have begun, although they are in the “infant stages” at this point in the offseason.

The early nature of the talks suggests Blount may remain unsigned once free agency opens on March 9, but that might not hinder his chances of staying in New England. Blount’s not likely to command major interest or offers in the first days of free agency and has had his greatest success in the NFL during his two stints with the Patriots.

The Patriots may be interested in other backs headed for free agency as well, although adding other players to the backfield probably wouldn’t preclude Blount’s return as the Patriots usually use a mix of backs on offense.