Why signing another RB could be beneficial for the Patriots

It's no secret that running back Rhamondre Stevenson will be the star of the New England Patriots, and the organization also bolstered the position in free agent by signing third-down back Antonio Gibson.

But despite all this talent in the offensive backfield, one could argue that the Patriots still have work to do to complete their running back position.

Stevenson is undoubtedly productive, but injuries caught up with him last year. His season ended in Week 13 with a severe ankle sprain. He also had a concussion and knee injuries in 2021. He's not necessarily an injury-prone player, but his injuries are something to keep an eye on.

Stevenson played a total of 486 snaps in 2023. That number was significantly lower than the 699 snaps he played the year before, when he set a career high with 1,040 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Stevenson admitted that he felt exhausted at the end of the 2022 season and that this likely carried over into last season as well.

This is where Patriots backup running back Kevin Harris could play a big role. He only played 34 snaps at running back last season. This could be an opportunity for him to prove himself. Still, the uncertainty of whether he can perform consistently is something to consider.

It's not that Gibson can't fill the role of No. 2 running back, considering he played that role in Washington with the Commanders. He totaled 473 snaps to Brian Robinson's 496. His highest snap count came in Week 3, when he played in 61 percent of the team's snaps, totaling 33 plays.

Last year he had 65 carries for 260 yards and one touchdown.

It's not that Harris and Gibson aren't capable of solidifying the running back line. Harris definitely has potential and Gibson has proven over several years that he can be a reliable contributor. It's more about Stevenson's health. An injury would be a major blow to the team.

A running back like Kareem Hunt, for example, could be a possible option. He is currently a free agent and has ties to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt from their time together in Cleveland. Hunt was able to serve as a strong No. 2 option behind Nick Chubb during that time. Last year alone, he rushed for 411 yards and nine touchdowns on 135 carries.

It's no secret that Van Pelt likes to run the football. That was his trademark during his time in Cleveland. Hunt is used to being a rotation player, and he could be a viable option for a Patriots offense trying to find its footing.

Adding another experienced running back to the team would be a good move for the team. The Patriots have talent at the position, but health and experience are two of their biggest question marks in 2024.

Strengthening this position through additional assistance could reduce the risks in the event of a disaster.

The story originally appeared on Patriots Wire