Report: Patriots' James White out vs. Jets as His Wife Is Expected to Give Birth

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2019

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  James White #28 of the New England Patriots looks on during warm ups prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New England Patriots running back James White will miss Sunday's game against the New York Jets, with his wife expected to give birth, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. 

The 27-year-old has made himself an important player in New England, giving the team excellent depth at running back.

He filled in admirably for the injured Dion Lewis in the pass-catching role out of the backfield in 2015, registering 40 receptions for 410 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing 22 times for 56 yards and two more scores.

With Lewis sidelined for much of 2016, White returned to the scatback role and had a strong season, accumulating 60 receptions for 551 yards and five scores, while also rushing for 166 yards on the ground.

He was also one of the team's heroes in the Super Bowl, catching 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown and accumulating two more scores on the ground.

He reprised that role in 2017, catching 56 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns. 

White and Sony Michel headlined the team's running back corps in 2018, with White posting 425 rushing yards, 87 receptions for 751 yards and 12 total touchdowns.

The Patriots long ago abandoned the notion of a feature, three-down back, so players such as White always have value playing more specific roles in the team's offense. The Patriots employ a true running-back-by-committee philosophy. 

Nonetheless, White has proved his value. While he's out of action for Sunday's game, Michel will take on an even bigger role in the backfield, while Rex Burkhead should see more snaps as well.

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