Shane Vereen’s emergence as a pass-catching threat has been clearly evident since he’s returned after missing eight games with a broken wrist. In the Patriots’ last four games, Vereen has 33 receptions, capped by last Sunday’s 12-catch performance in a 27-26 comeback win over Cleveland. That career day catching the football – Vereen’s 153 receiving yards marked a personal best and established a franchise record, and he was targeted by Tom Brady a whopping 17 times – illustrates how valuable the Patriots view the third-year back from Berkeley.
With tight end Rob Gronkowski now lost for the season, the recent trend of getting Vereen the ball through the air could easily continue, and become even more important as the Patriots head toward the postseason. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.