Shane Vereen undergoing wrist surgery after breakout performance
Vereen was everything the Patriots could have asked for in Sunday's season opener against the Buffalo Bills. He flashed sensational running ability (14 carries for 101 yards, 7.2 YPC) and was an asset in the passing game as well (seven catches for 58 yards). He was both versatile and effective, and was a huge part of the Patriots' winning effort.
Unfortunately, we are going to have to wait a little while to see if Vereen is more than a one-hit wonder. The third-year running back reportedly broke a bone in his wrist that will require surgery, sidelining him for "a few weeks," according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. The broken bone is directly on a nerve in Vereen's wrist, which caused caused "numbness" in the joint after the game. Vereen reportedly broke the bone on his first play of Sunday's contest, which means he gutted out a phenomenal performance while dealing with a significant injury.
Coincidentally enough, Darren Sproles underwent similar wrist surgery during the 2012 season. Sproles missed three games, which is likely right around what Vereen will miss. Vereen's likely timetable is about 2-3 weeks.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Vereen, who saved the day for the Patriots' after starting running back Stevan Ridley was benched after his second fumble. Ridley was likely to retain the starting job regardless, but if Vereen could have stayed healthy, he would have been able to keep Ridley on the hot seat and carve out a big role for himself. Ridley will now return to a feature back role for the Patriots with LeGarrette Blount as his primary backup. Once Vereen returns, he'll reclaim duties on third downs and in passing situations.
It's an unfortunate blow for fantasy owners who felt like they got the steal of the draft in Vereen, but stash him on your bench for a few weeks, and you should have a solid RB2 when he returns to action.