BOSTON (CBS) — A crowded Patriots backfield has gained a little bit more space.
The team on Saturday released veteran running back Lamar Miller, ahead of the 4 p.m. ET deadline for getting rosters trimmed to 53 active members.
The Patriots released RB Lamar Miller, per source. He debuted at practice this week. His status will be worth monitoring in the near future.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) September 5, 2020
Another surprise cut: Patriots released RB Lamar Miller, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 5, 2020
Miller was a bit of a flier for the Patriots, as the 29-year-old is coming off a season lost to a torn ACL. The team signed him on Aug. 13, and he was taken off the PUP list on Aug. 31, giving him just a handful of practices on the field.
Prior to the injury, Miller was a highly productive back. He averaged 1,251 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns per season from 2014-18. He averaged a tick under 1,000 rushing yards per year during that time, while also averaging 35 receptions for 270 yards per season.
In his last healthy year in 2018, he rushed for 973 yards and five touchdowns while catching 25 passes for 163 yards and another touchdown for Houston.
With Miller’s release, the Patriots’ backfield includes Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris and undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor. Fullback Jakob Johnson is also a part of the running backs group, albeit in a different capacity.
Given the indications from Jeff Howe’s tweet, it seems the Patriots may keep tabs on Miller’s progress in case a spot opens up at a later date, or perhaps for practice squad purposes. The NFL changed its roster rules this year to allow veteran players to be on practice squads.