He’s played the role before, actually, and he’s done it here. Faulk was suspended for the first game of 2008 season and sat out last year’s regular season finale. Here are Morris’ numbers from those two afternoons …
9/7/08 — Patriots 17, Chiefs 10
10 rush, 53 yds, TD; 5 rec, 34 yds
1/3/10 — Texans 34, Patriots 27
7 rush, 9 yds; 3 rec, 13 yds
Of course, the Chiefs game was marked by Tom Brady’s injury, with Bernard Pollard slipping past Morris for the hit, so that one featured a more conservative gameplan that leaned toward the backs. But it is important to mention these two occasions, since that experience could wind up being important now.
“I try to pride myself on being versatile, and somebody’s gonna have to step up,” Morris said today. “Obviously, I’m not Kevin Faulk per se. But in that sense, no one is. We’ve all gotta elevate our own games and do our part to help the team win.
As for what Faulk brings to the table, Morris said, “He brings a lot of things as far as open-field quickness and agility. He’s an all-around back.”
That’s one reason Morris is among the many who expects it to take a number of players to cover all of Faulk’s responsibilities.
But if there’s a single guy who fits “third-down back” best with Faulk gone, it’s probably this 11-year vet.
“I’ve done it here as well, it’s just that obviously with Kevin here, not as much,” Morris said. “It’s something that, even when Kevin was here, coach is coaching him up and I’m still listening to what’s going on with the play, because just like with everybody, you always gotta be ready.”