Patriots running backs coach discusses how team will replace James White

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Patriots running back James White reportedly suffered a hip subluxation in Sunday's loss to New Orleans.

It's unclear exactly how long he will be out, but it does seem like an extended absence.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, running backs coach Ivan Fears discussed losing White and how the offense will look to replace him.

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“Well yeah, that’s hard. No doubt about it," he said. "But you’re always prepping for situations like this where you might be missing a key guy for a time period, or we didn’t expect it for the whole time period, but if it turns out that way, that’s the way it turns out. But the guys we got have all been prepping to replace James if need be, so it’s not like we’re going cold turkey. We’re not going cold turkey.

"Brandon [Bolden] was ready to go in, he had been practicing at that spot, he knew what to do, that’s why we played him. We were in that mode of offense at that time of game so he had to play then. It was the stuff he had been working at. So we were so in gear for it. The young guys, everybody, is going to get some work at it. They will all share in replacing James White’s duties.”

While Bolden got the bulk of the reps replacing White, J.J. Taylor is also an option.

“Oh, he’s a consideration," Fears said. "There’s no doubt about it. J.J.’s a very talented guy. We like what he’s been doing. He’s had an awful good preseason up to this point, and what he’s been about to do in game, so we’re going to find out more. With James not in there, we’ll actually see what he can do more of. Everybody’s going to have to have a piece of the role, and step their game up a little bit. I think J.J.’s one of the guys we have to take a look at.”

As for rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, who has been a healthy scratch the last two games following his fumble in Week 1?

"He has made big improvements on the stuff we asked him to make improvements on, and we’re kind of happy with him," Fears said. "So we’re kind of excited to see if he can pick up a new role here. Maybe he can pick up some of the stuff James was doing. We’ll throw it at him this week and see what sticks at practice. See what he can handle.”

It wouldn't be a surprise to see all the running backs active Sunday against Tampa Bay.

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