Damien Harris returns after breaking out in his third season to lead the team in rushing touchdowns. Harris enters the last year of his deal and will be looking to set himself up to earn an extension or cash in in free agency. Rhamondre Stevenson returns providing a nice one-two punch. Stevenson has a unique blend of size and speed and could be due for a breakout season himself. His abilities as a third-down back are something to consider in camp, he catches the ball well for a big back.
After missing most of 2021 with a hip injury, James White re-signed with the team on a two-year deal. He could be a candidate to start the year on PUP, returning in October to provide a boost and giving the team some early-season roster flexibility. His leadership and experience are always welcome in the running back room.
Ty Montgomery has been a running back, returner and receiver in his career and could contribute at all three spots in New England. If White is limited, Montgomery could have the most direct track toward the third-down back role. If not, J.J. Taylor should once again turn heads in the preseason with some dazzling plays. Taylor was overshadowed in his second season by Brandon Bolden, who took over when White went down, but remains one of the team's most exciting playmakers with the ball in his hands.
Two more rookies also enter the mix, with breakaway speed back Pierre Strong and squatty power runner Kevin Harris. Running back has at times been a redshirt position for the Patriots, but after Damien Harris and Stevenson, not much is set in stone. It's easy to see two new faces getting into the rotation. If injuries strike, that number could spike even higher.
The Patriots usually seem to overstock the running back position and this year is no exception. Somehow, they always seem to need more RBs than you might think. Thus, it's a deep room that provides plenty of internal competition.