Patriots RB Shane Vereen capitalizes on opportunity after Stevan Ridley benched

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Years from now, when Shane Vereen is reminiscing about his first 100-yard rushing game in the NFL, you wonder if Stevan Ridley’s role will be forgotten or diminished with the passage of time.

Vereen figured to be an important part of the Patriots’ offense Sunday against the Bills, with his ability to run and also catch the ball out of the backfield. And he was, especially late, when he touched the ball five times on the final drive and gained 31 key yards, helping set up the winning field goal in the 23-21 win at Buffalo.

But Vereen’s playing time spiked after Ridley was benched midway through the second quarter.

Handed the opportunity, Vereen carried 14 times for a career-high 101 yards.

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