The New England Patriots have signed veteran running back, Steven Jackson to a one year deal, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Jackson was waived by the Atlanta Falcons this past February and will now look to serve as New England’s starting running back going forward in a season riddled with injury’s for the New England Patriots.
The Patriots have lost a starter to injury in each of the past six weeks. They lost their play making back, Dion Lewis, in week 9 to an ACL injury, and placed their power back LeGarrette Blount on injured reserved after suffering a hip injury in week 14 against the Houston Texans.
Despite the hits to the running back position and the loss of star receiver Julian Edelman, The Patriots have managed to achieve a 12-2 record (best in the AFC) and clinched a first round bye in the postseason yesterday with Denver’s loss to Pittsburgh.
News of Jackson’s signing isn’t much of a surprise to those close to the New England organization. The Patriots brought Jackson in for a workout less than a week ago, and with a season where their lead back seems to get hit by the injury bug every other week, the Patriots decided to strengthen the depth of the position in preparation for a deep playoff run with the addition of a reliable veteran in Steven Jackson.
Jackson spent the majority of his career with the St.Louis Ram, and during those years was considered one of the greatest running backs in the league. He ran for 1,000 plus yards in eight of his nine years with St. Louis despite being on teams that never made it to the post season.
He signed a three year deal with the Atlanta Falcons in 2012, with the hopes of being the missing piece to a team that was primed to make a Super Bowl run, but it never came to fruition due to the team’s poor play.
Though his success on the ground didn’t pay off in terms of team success in previous years, his reputation has allowed him the opportunity to star in a backfield on a team that has just claimed home field advantage throughout the playoffs, with one of the most lauded coaches and quarterback this league has ever seen.
With only four fumbles in the past six seasons, and a career known as a runner with power and exceptional ball security, Patriot fans everywhere are hoping they are getting the Jackson of old and that his abilities do just enough to get the defending champion Patriots to Santa Clara, California this February to play for a shot at becoming back to back champions, being the first team to do so since they accomplished the feat back in 2003 through 2004 in Super Bowls 38 and 39.
[Photo via AP images]