Patriots rookie Vereen may play vs. Giants

One of the underrated duties of a running back – especially one playing on third down – is to protect the quarterback.

That duty becomes even more important when the quarterback is a franchise player like Tom Brady. The New England Patriots are likely to be without long-time reliable third-down back Kevin Faulk, who is likely to start the season on PUP as he is still recovering from knee surgery.

The Pats drafted Shane Vereen to fill that role, but he has been plagued with a hamstring injury and has missed valuable camp time. Vereen could get back on the field for the preseason finale tonight with the New York Giants, but, according to the Boston Herald, there are concerns about whether he is up to speed in pass protections and knowing what to do to protect Brady in such situations.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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