Brandon Bolden

New England Patriots
Running Back #38
New England Patriots
Running Back #38
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Brandon Bolden News

Catches two passes Thursday

Bolden was on the field for 17 of a possible 64 snaps in the Patriots' 25-0 win over the Falcons on Thursday night, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: While working in a change-of-pace role versus Atlanta, Bolden was out-snapped by both Damien Harris (25) and Rhamondre Stevenson (22). In the process, Bolden gained one yard on his only carry and caught both of his targets for 15 yards. Looking ahead, there will be some weeks where game script/flow leads to more targets for him, but as long as both Harris and Stevenson are available, Bolden will remain a hit-or-miss option in PPR formats.

Nov 19, 2021 8:43 AM EST

Active for TNF

Bolden (hip) is listed as active for Thursday night's game against the Falcons.

Analysis: As is lead back Damien Harris (concussion), who returns from a one-game absence, as well as Rhamondre Stevenson, who remains in the mix for both early-down touches and a portion of the team's pass-catching work. In that context, Bolden profiles as a hit-or-miss/game-flow dependent Week 11 fantasy option in PPR formats, while handing his change-of-pace role for the Patriots.

Nov 18, 2021 4:06 PM EST

Questionable for TNF

Bolden (hip) is listed as questionable for Thursday night's game against the Falcons.

Analysis: On a short week, Bolden was listed as a limited practice participant by the Patriots, with his status worth verifying in advance of Thursday night's 8:20 ET kickoff. However, with Damien Harris (concussion) cleared to play after missing this past Sunday's game against the Browns and Rhamondre Stevenson also in the team's backfield mix, Bolden looks like a hit-or-miss game-flow dependent fantasy PPR option in Week 11, if he is in uniform versus Atlanta.

Nov 17, 2021 2:03 PM EST

Limited again Tuesday

Bolden (hip) practiced in a limited capacity Tuesday.

Analysis: As was Damien Harris, who got back on the practice field for the first time since he suffered a concussion Week 9 at Carolina. With Harris out this past Sunday versus the Browns, Bolden earned 18 (of 67) offensive snaps on his way to six touches for 70 yards from scrimmage. Meanwhile, Rhamondre Stevenson led the way with 37 plays and 24 touches for 114 total yards and two TDs, and J.J. Taylor brought up the rear with 13 snaps and six rushes for 11 yards. If Harris is able to return Thursday in Atlanta, he likely would take back the No. 1 gig, but Bolden has carved out a consistent role in the Patriots offense, which has equated to six-plus touches in six of the last eight games.

Nov 16, 2021 2:06 PM EST

Limited to begin Week 10

The Patriots listed Bolden as a limited participant on Monday's estimated practice report with a hip issue.

Analysis: Provided Bolden is able to upgrade to full activity Wednesday on the team's final practice report of the week, he should be ready to play in Thursday's game against the Falcons. The absence of lead back Damien Harris (concussion) didn't result in a major spike in workload for Bolden in the Patriots' Week 10 win over the Browns. Bolden played 18 of 67 offensive snaps (27 percent) and finished with three carries for 32 yards and three receptions for 38 yards on three targets. Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson (20 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns and four catches for 14 yards on 37 snaps) was instead the main beneficiary as New England followed more run-heavy game plan in the 45-7 victory.

Nov 15, 2021 2:13 PM EST

Plays part-time role

Bolden ran for 32 yards on three carries while catching three passes for 38 yards on three targets against Cleveland on Sunday.

Analysis: Bolden was highly effective from scrimmage, but rookie Rhamondre Stevenson served as the workhorse runner while Damien Harris (concussion) sat out. Bolden is usually effective with the football, but the fact is he plays too much special teams for the Patriots to give him much work on offense outside of emergency situations. Perhaps it'd be a point worth revisiting if the Patriots at some point replace Bolden on special teams, but until then his workload on offense is likely capped around the level he showed against Cleveland.

Nov 14, 2021 2:05 PM EST

Teams with Stevenson and Taylor in Week 10

With Damien Harris (concussion) inactive, Bolden, Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor are in line to handle the Patriots' backfield duties Sunday against the Browns.

Analysis: Stevenson (concussion) had been listed as questionable for the contest, but he'll give it a go and should handle his share of touches Sunday, barring any setbacks. Bolden remains in the mix and could garner enough work to help out those who are scrambling for Week 10 RB options, but a looming time-share that could also involve Taylor caps his fantasy ceiling.

Nov 14, 2021 8:53 AM EST

Takes over for injured backs

Bolden rushed eight times for 54 yards and caught both of his targets for 27 more yards in Sunday's 24-6 win over the Panthers.

Analysis: Both Damien Harris (16 touches) and Rhamondre Stevenson (12 touches) left Sunday's contest with head injuries, leaving Bolden to take over lead back duties for the remainder of the contest. The short outburst of yardage put the 31-year-old over the 4.0 yards per carry mark for the season, most of which has been in a reserve/special teams role. If the aforementioned backs are unable to heal up before next Sunday, Bolden figures to serve as the team's lead back against the Browns, with J.J. Taylor (inactive) also getting in the mix.

Nov 7, 2021 1:48 PM EST

No catches in Week 8

Bolden was on the field for 25 off a possible 77 snaps on offense in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Chargers, en route to carrying four times for 26 yards, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: A week after catching six passes on seven targets for 79 yards and a TD in New England's 54-13 win over the Jets, Bolden wasn't targeted at all Sunday. Meanwhile, lead back Damien Harris (41 snaps) carried 23 times for 80 yards and a TD and didn't catch his only target, while Rhamondre Stevenson (12 snaps) ran eight times for 25 yards and caught one pass (on two targets) for five yards. Looking ahead, Bolden figures to have some PPR-worthy efforts as the season progresses, but that's something that will hinge on weekly game plans and game flows, making him a hit-or-miss fantasy option.

Nov 1, 2021 11:57 AM EST

Leading receiver in blowout win

Bolden (thigh) rushed twice for no gain and caught six of seven targets for 79 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 54-13 win over the Jets.

Analysis: Bolden didn't score any of New England's four rushing touchdowns, but he led the team in catches and receiving yards while tying Jakobi Meyers for the lead in targets. He's filling the receiving back role vacated by James White's season-ending hip injury, while Damien Harris continues to get the lion's share of opportunities on the ground. Bolden could see plenty of targets in the Patriots' dink and dunk passing game against the Chargers in Week 8, especially if New England falls behind on the road.

Oct 24, 2021 5:19 PM EST

Suits up versus Jets

Bolden (thigh) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Jets.

Analysis: With Rhamondre Stevenson a surprise scratch, Bolden is on track to handle a change-of-pace role Sunday behind lead back Damien Harris. It's an assignment that puts Bolden on the deeper PPR radar, while J.J. Taylor is active Sunday and available to work in a complementary role as well.

Oct 24, 2021 8:51 AM EST

Questionable for Week 7

Bolden (thigh) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets after logging limited practices this past week.

Analysis: Given that he practiced all week, there's a solid chance that Bolden -- who logged 11 of New England's 54 offensive snaps in last Sunday's loss to the Cowboys -- will suit up this weekend. However, if that's the case it's unclear how involved he'll be as a change-of-pace option versus the Jets, with rookie Rhamondre Stevenson seemingly transitioning to a larger role in the Patriots' offense behind lead back Damien Harris.

Oct 22, 2021 2:12 PM EST

Logs limited practice

Bolden (thigh) was listed as limited at practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Bolden was on the field for just 11 of a possible 54 snaps on offense in this past Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, en route to carrying once for minus-1 yard and catching his only target for three yards. While it's possible that his thigh issue contributed to his decreased usage in Week 6, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson -- who recorded five carries and three targets versus Dallas -- could simply be transitioning to a larger role in New England's offense behind top back Damien Harris.

Oct 20, 2021 2:04 PM EST

One carry in Week 6

Bolden was on the field for 11 of a possible 54 snaps on offense in Sunday's 35-29 overtime loss to the Cowboys, en route to carrying once for minus-one yards and catching his only target for three yards, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: The veteran back was out-snapped in the contest by both Damien Harris (26) and Rhamondre Stevenson (18), with Bolden's lack of involvement in the Patriots' passing game notable. Meanwhile, Stevenson logged five carries and three targets, suggesting that he's transitioning to an increased complementary role behind Harris (18 carries), at Bolden's expense.

Oct 18, 2021 10:03 AM EST

Catches four passes Sunday

Bolden was on the field for 24 of a possible 64 snaps on offense in Sunday's 25-22 win over the Texans, en route to carrying twice for 25 yards and catching all four of his targets for six yards, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: When lead back Damien Harris was forced out the contest with chest and rib issues, it was rookie Rhamondre Stevenson (22 snaps, 11 carries for 23 yards), who handled the bulk of the team's early-down work. Aside from a 24-yard run, Bolden didn't do much with his Week 5 touches, but it does appear as though he's settled into a steady change-of-pace role, with James White (hip) on IR. That context puts him on the fantasy radar in deeper PPR formats.

Oct 11, 2021 9:38 AM EST

Catches six passes Sunday

Bolden was on the field for 19 of a possible 59 snaps on offense in Sunday's 19-17 loss to the Buccaneers, en route to carrying once for zero yards and catching all six of his targets for 51 yards, NESN's Zack Cox reports.

Analysis: Meanwhile, lead back Damien Harris logged 36 snaps, four carries and two catches in the contest, while J.J. Taylor was out there for four snaps, recording one carry, one catch and a fumble. In a game where the Patriots leaned heavily on the passing game, the team's running backs accounted for just six carries. That's not a pattern that's likely to continue in Week 5 versus the Texans, but what can be gleaned from Sunday's box score is that for now at least, Bolden is the player who the team is primarily counting on to fill the void created by the absence of James White, who is on IR with a hip injury. Heading into Week 4, there was speculation that Taylor could see his profile in the offense expand, but his costly lost fumble in Tampa Bay territory Sunday doesn't figure to help his chances of supplanting Bolden in the short term.

Oct 4, 2021 10:06 AM EST

Could see added work

With James White (hip) expected to miss the rest of the season, Bolden is a candidate to see added work in the Patriots' offense, Matt Fairburn of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: When White suffered his injury in Week 3, it was Bolden who absorbed the bulk of the Patriots' change-of-pace snaps, with his experience and ability in pass-protection giving him the edge as a short-term fill-in. However, in the coming weeks we'd expect both J.J. Taylor and Rhamondre Stevenson to have an opportunity to log extra snaps as well, especially if one or both can prove capable of handling blocking assignments. With that in mind, while Bolden is worth a look in deeper PPR formats, he shouldn't be counted on to replicate White's production.

Sep 30, 2021 9:18 AM EST

Logs 33 snaps Sunday

Bolden logged 33 of a possible 72 snaps on offense in Sunday's 28-13 loss to the Saints, en route to carrying three times for minus-1 yards and catching three of his four targets for 23 yards, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Bolden, who had previously been operating primarily as a core special-teamer, saw his profile in the Patriots offense expand Sunday once James White (six snaps) left the game with a hip injury that's expected to cost him some time. It remains to be seen if Bolden continues to handle the bulk of the team's change-of-duties in the event that White is sidelined, with J.J. Taylor (10 snaps in Week 3) also an option in that regard, but it's a situation worth monitoring for those looking to add RB depth in deeper PPR formats.

Sep 27, 2021 3:17 PM EST

Expected back for 2021

Patriots safety Devin McCourty expects Bolden to resume his football career in 2021, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Bolden originally was scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, before a COVID/19 opt-out pushed the final year of his contract back to 2021. He's scheduled for a $1.98 million cap hit, with the Patriots able to free up $1.49 million if Bolden is released, per The 31-year-old RB has largely made a living on special teams, getting only 52 touches in 61 regular-season appearances from 2016 to 2019.

Feb 5, 2021 10:25 AM EST

Won't play this season

Bolden will opt out of the 2020 season, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.

Analysis: Bolden is one of five Patriots -- so far -- with intentions to skip the upcoming campaign. The 30-year-old running back has played 2,016 career snaps on special teams and only 806 on offense, so his absence won't demand much of an adjustment from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Jul 28, 2020 6:46 AM EST

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