BOSTON (CBS) – Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak gave their thoughts on Patriots running back Stevan Ridley and how the team should handle his playing time going forward.

The third-year pro was benched against the Houston Texans for fumbling against the Broncos, which was the third straight game he had lost a fumble and his fourth lost fumble of the season.

BUY OR SELL: Will Ridley Be Inactive Against Browns?

Ridley is obviously New England’s best pure runner, but his struggles holding onto the football have deemed him too risky to play, especially in critical situations…which is why he should play this Sunday against the Browns.

Gresh posed the question: “Is it time to get Stevan Ridley back into this [Patriots] offense?” to which Zolak responded with an emphatic “yes!” and provided reasons to support his belief.

“You’ve got a couple cupcakes here [Browns, Dolphins] before Baltimore and you need to find out if you can trust him in Baltimore, because I think that game is going to be a big one,” said Zolak.

FLYNN: Ridley’s Career On The Line

“That Baltimore game may be for the one or the two seed with Denver, but you need to find out within the next two weeks if you can trust Stevan Ridley, not even if you can trust him in the playoffs, but for the Baltimore Ravens.”

“You’ve got to ease him into this game here against Cleveland a little bit. The game is at home, so we’re going to see what’s his metal, what’s he made up of and does he have thick skin? What has he done to better himself?”

“He sat last week, the message was sent,” concluded Zo.

“They need this guy, I think people are underestimating that. They need this particular player to help them as the weather gets cold. If they fix these first half [scoring] woes, they’re going to have to run the ball more in the second half,” said Gresh.

Does Ridley deserve a chance to play this Sunday? Vote in our poll and listen to the full discussion below:



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