New England Patriots running backs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee are expected to miss their team's AFC Divisional Round playoff matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night due to knee injuries, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
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Burkhead injured his knee in a 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 17. Although both backs practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday, they will not face the Titans. Without his dual-threat ability as a rusher and pass-catcher, the Patriots' offense sputtered at times in December. Burkhead not only rushed for 264 yards and five touchdowns, but he also recorded 254 receiving yards and caught three touchdowns. He was able to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday for the first time since injuring his knee back in Week 16 against the Buffalo Bills. Prior to that game, he had missed six games - five as a healthy scratch and one because of illness.
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The New England Patriots will be without two of their running backs on Saturday.
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But in the final round I just want to make sure I don't get in my own way, just take it shot for shot and stay in the moment. Blaauw said his round would boost his confidence for Sunday's push.
The absence of Burkhead and Gillislee leaves the Patriots with just White, Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden in the backfield. White has proven to be a more significant asset in the passing game while Lewis has to be a dependable contributor in the rushing attack.