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Patriots.com News Blitz - 8/22/2012

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2009 with the Patriots

[Greg A. Bedard](http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2012/08/21/vereenstakeshisclaimtorbrole/?rss_id=Boston.com -- New England Patriots news) of The Boston Globe writes that the competition for the number one running back spot on the Patriots' depth chart is back on between Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.  After Stevan Ridley put the ball on the ground during practice last week, Vereen was given first team reps and held his own during Monday night's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.  While Vereen had only 10 carries for 20 yards in the game, he helped himself by protecting the football and is quickly becoming an additional weapon for Tom Brady in the passing game. "That means the competition is back on between Vereen and Ridley, just like it should have been all along," writes Bedard.

Michael Whitmer of *The Boston Globe *believes that Patriots rookie RB Brandon Bolden is on the roster bubble. "Highs and lows, but it's all a part of coming into a new environment, the NFL, and things like that," Bolden said after Monday night's preseason game. "Just have to look at it and learn from it, continue to get better each play." Whitmer writes that through two exhibition games, Bolden is third on the team in rushing with 15 carries for 37 yards. "The Patriots also have Danny Woodhead in the mix, and last week signed Jeff Demps, a speedster from Florida who was on the sidelines Monday night," writes Whitmer. "There might not be room for all five on the roster, so Bolden's ability to make an impact must be maximized if he wants to make the cut."

Mike Rodakof ESPNBoston.com writes that Patriots TE Visanthe Shiancoe has missed the last several weeks with an undisclosed injury. Rodak believes that if Shiancoe doesn't return to the field soon, he could be in jeopardy of making the roster. "On Monday the Patriots will have to trim their roster to 75 players," adds Rodak. "With 85 players currently on the roster, that means 10 cuts will have to be made by 4 p.m. that day."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that Patriots WR Deion Branch played 73 of 74 snaps in the team's preseason loss to the Eagles on Monday night. As one of the only "regulars" to see extensive playing time, Branch accumulated 3 catches for 51 yards in the game. "From this view, a performance like that would seem to solidify his standing in the No. 3 receiver spot behind Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd," writes Reiss.

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