Brandon Bolden

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

Brandon Bolden News

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

Logs 15 carries in 2019

Bolden finished the 2019 regular season with 15 carries for 68 yards and three TDs and nine catches on 11 targets for 111 yards and a receiving score over the course of 15 games.

Analysis: Bolden, who spent the 2018 season with the Dolphins, returned to the Patriots in 2019, reprising his role as a versatile backfield depth option and core special teamer for the team. He's under contract with New England through the 2020 season and is thus slated to continue to work in the complementary role that he's handled capably (aside from his year in Miami) since joining the franchise as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

Jan 1, 2020 9:18 AM EST

Finds end zone in loss

Bolden scored a 10-yard touchdown on his only carry during Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: With Sony Michel struggling early, Rex Burkhead and Bolden become more involved in the offense as the game progressed, and Bolden capitalized with his fourth TD of the season -- albeit his first since Week 6 -- on only 24 total touches. Despite his impressive efficiency when he gets a chance, the veteran back will probably remain primarily a special-teams contributor for the Pats over the final weeks.

Dec 8, 2019 6:48 PM EST

Logs 23 special teams snaps

Bolden was on the field for just one snap on offense in Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Texans.

Analysis: Bolden did see action on 23 special teams snaps Sunday and that's where he'll continue to make his biggest mark down the stretch, as long as fellow running backs Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead are available.

Dec 2, 2019 8:33 AM EST

Logs 11-yard carry Sunday

Bolden was on the field for seven of a possible 70 snaps on offense in Sunday's 13-9 win over the Cowboys.

Analysis: Bolden, who had gone back-to-back games without a carry or catch, logged one rush in the one for 11 yards. His involvement in the Patriots offense will remain limited as long as Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead are available, but Bolden does at least suit up on a weekly basis due to his special-teams prowess.

Nov 25, 2019 9:22 AM EST

Finds end zone again

Bolden logged 12 of a possible 82 snaps on offense in Thursday's 35-14 win over the Giants, en route to rushing three times for 23 yards and a TD and catching both of his targets for 22 yards.

Analysis: Bolden has now found the end zone in three straight games, but that's a trend that can't be counted on in the coming weeks, especially with Rex Burkhead (foot) -- who has missed two straight games -- a candidate to return to action in Week 7.

Oct 11, 2019 9:42 AM EST

Hauls in 29-yard TD pass

Bolden was on the field for 11 of a possible 78 snaps on offense in Sunday's 33-7 win over Washington, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Though Bolden's snap count remained modest in Week 5, he still managed to log five carries for 13 yards and haul in his only target for a 29-yard TD. That marks two straight games in which Bolden has scored, but he's still a risky fantasy roll going forward, given the fact that he's clearly behind Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead (foot) -- when healthy -- in the Patriots' backfield pecking order.

Oct 7, 2019 7:54 AM EST

Logs TD on only carry

Bolden was on the field for five snaps on offense in Sunday's 16-10 win over the Bills, Mike Reiss of reports. In the process, he turned his only carry into a four-yard TD.

Analysis: The Week 4 TD aside, Bolden continues to make most of his impact as a special-teamer, with his his role in the Patriots' offense limited as long as Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead are all healthy.

Sep 30, 2019 8:06 AM EST

Catches two passes in Week 3

Bolden was on the field for 22 snaps on offense in Sunday's 30-14 win over the Jets. In the process, he carried twice for minus-two yards and caught two of his three targets for 21 yards.

Analysis: Bolden also saw 22 special-teams snaps Sunday, which is typical for him. His uptick in offensive snaps was the result of James White (personal) being unavailable. With White on track to return to the lineup in Week 4, Bolden figures to once again make most of his impact as a special-teamer when the Patriots face the Bills on the road this coming weekend.

Sep 23, 2019 9:51 AM EST

Shakes off injury

Bolden (hamstring) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Bolden will be ready to play in Sunday's game versus the Jets. Although he's buried on the depth chart, the Patriots are heavy favorites and could deploy Bolden in garbage time if the game ends up a blowout. However, even when the Patriots were far ahead of the Steelers, they opted for Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris first.

Sep 18, 2019 2:13 PM EST

Not playing Sunday

Bolden (hamstring) has been downgraded to out for Sunday's contest against Miami.

Analysis: Bolden was a limited participant in practice all week but evidently wasn't healthy enough to play in Week 2. Considering the Patriots are heavy favorites against the Dolphins on Sunday, it wouldn't be a surprise to see both Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris get work throughout the second half if the game gets out of hand, a possibility that is even more likely now with the veteran running back unable to play.

Sep 14, 2019 9:40 AM EST

Questionable for Sunday

Bolden (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday's divisional matchup with the Dolphins.

Analysis: Bolden was a limited participant in practice each day this week. The 29-year-old was seemingly fine during last Sunday's season opener against Pittsburgh, so it's not completely clear when he picked up the hamstring issue. If Bolden can play Sunday, he'll likely be limited to his usual role on special teams.

Sep 13, 2019 12:56 PM EST

Dealing with hamstring injury

Bolden (hamstring) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Zack Cox of reports.

Analysis: Bolden was a new appearance on the injury report after playing Week 1 versus the Steelers and recording one carry for seven yards. The Patriots may simply be looking to keep Bolden fresh, and full participation in practice Thursday or Friday would clear up any worries.

Sep 11, 2019 1:39 PM EST

One carry in Week 1

Bolden logged just one of a possible 70 snaps on offense in Sunday's 33-3 win over the Steelers.

Analysis: Bolden, who recorded a seven-yard carry on that play, did make his mark, however, by logging 16 special teams snaps, which included a pair of kick returns for 35 yards. Bolden's prowess as a special-teamer will keep him on the Patriots' game-day roster most weeks, but he remains behind Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead in the team's backfield pecking order.

Sep 9, 2019 10:29 AM EST

Rejoining Patriots

Bolden will sign a two-year contract with the Patriots, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Bolden spent the first six years of his career in New England before jumping to Miami in 2018. He figures to get most of his playing time on special teams, as the Patriots have Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead under contract through 2020.

Mar 13, 2019 6:25 AM EST

One reception to cap season

Bolden caught his sole target for nine yards during Sunday's 42-17 loss to the Bills. He ends the season with eight rushes for 91 yards and two touchdowns, and three receptions for 13 yards and one touchdown.

Analysis: Bolden remained in a depth role with the Dolphins all season, even after Frank Gore suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 15, and only played 25 offensive snaps through 16 games. Most of Bolden's limited usage came in the red zone, allowing him to achieve slight fantasy value with three total touchdowns during the Dolphins' last four games. The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and will remain squarely behind Kalen Ballage and Kenyan Drake on the depth chart if Miami chooses to re-sign him.

Jan 4, 2019 3:35 PM EST

Scores third touchdown of 2018

Bolden rushed four times for nine yards and caught his only target for four yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 17-7 loss to the Jaguars.

Analysis: Bolden did all of his damage during the first quarter, reaching the end zone on a misdirection play in which Kenyan Drake attracted the attention of most of the Jaguars' defense. The 28-year-old appears to have earned the trust of Miami's coaching staff in the red zone, but is difficult to trust for fantasy purposes due to his low weekly touches.

Dec 23, 2018 2:09 PM EST

Logs one carry in loss

Bolden rushed once for 12 yards during Sunday's 41-17 loss to the Vikings.

Analysis: After scoring twice during a Week 14 win over the Patriots, Bolden's usage likely disappointed fantasy managers who picked him up as a waiver wire flier. Bolden did not earn an uptick in carries even after Frank Gore (knee) departed Sunday's loss in the first quarter due to a knee injury -- instead, rookie Kalen Ballage stepped up with 12 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Even if Gore is unable to suit up Week 16 against the Jaguars, it's unlikely that Bolden will receive a notable workload behind Ballage and Kenyan Drake.

Dec 17, 2018 4:56 PM EST

Burns old squad twice

Bolden rushed twice for 60 yards and two touchdowns didn't net any yards on his sole reception in the Dolphins' 34-33 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

Analysis: It's hard to say whether it was an intentional dig at Bill Belichick, but Bolden was coincidentally a pivotal part of the offense for a brief portion of the first half and incredibly found paydirt on his only two carries. The veteran had only toted the ball only once all season prior to Sunday, as his utility primarily comes on special teams. Despite his surprising success Sunday, it's difficult to envision Bolden having much of a consistent week-to-week role in a rushing attack that already typically caps the touches of the top duo of Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore.

Dec 9, 2018 2:47 PM EST

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