Now that it’s being confirmed that New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis tore his ACL in the Sunday win over the Washington Redskins, many are starting to speculate that former Pittsburgh Steelers third-round draft pick Dri Archer has already received a phone call from Foxboro.
While it’s hard to know what level of sarcasm was being used in a Monday morning tweet by Pro Football Talk, but even they suggested the Patriots sign Archer.
Pats need to go get MUT beast Dri Archer.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 9, 2015
While there’s no doubt that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has made a career at turning other team’s castoffs into contributors for his teams over the years, you have to wonder if Archer will even be worth his time being as he only touched the ball a total of 17 times in his one and a half seasons in Pittsburgh.
Archer, who was waived by the Steelers on Thursday so that they could make room on their 53-man roster for veteran kick returner Jacoby Jones, has only played three offensive snaps this year and all three came late in the regular-season opener to the Patriots.
During the 2015 preseason, Archer carried the football just six times for a total of 18 yards. He did, however, catch eight passes for 108 yards during the Steelers five preseason games, so there’s that.
While Archer still likely possesses sub 4.3 speed, the fact that he’s known to go down easily after first contact in addition to being a liability in pass protection makes one wonder if he can ever be counted on as being a reliable and productive backfield player for any team even if he is mostly used as a pass catching option.
With Lewis now out for the season, the Patriots will likely rely even more on veteran running back LeGarrette Blount to do the heavy lifting moving forward. As far as a future change of pace back option goes for the Patriots, Brandon Bolden did catch three passes on Sunday for 27 yards.
Who knows, maybe the Patriots will at least bring Archer in for a tryout this week and at worst sign him to their practice squad. If that happens, expect Steelers fans to take issue with it.