The Patriots continue to explore contingency plans at running back.
Accounting for the possibility that Corey Dillon (ankle) and Patrick Pass (hamstring) might not be ready for action against the Colts –- thus leaving them with only newly signed Heath Evans at running back –- the team worked out free agent Olandis Gary on Tuesday.
The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Gary has played for the Broncos (1999-2002) and Lions (2003). He missed last season with a shoulder injury. Over his career, he’s rushed for 1,998 yards and 11 touchdowns in 48 games, with more than half of the yardage coming his rookie season in Denver.
The 30-year-old Gary has also been productive in the passing game, catching 59 passes for 415 yards.
A former teammate of Patrick Pass at the University of Georgia, Gary burst onto the NFL scene in 1999 by rushing for 1,159 yards. But injuries have limited him since. He tore his ACL in the 2000 season-opener and missed the rest of the season. In 2001, he was limited to nine games after fracturing his fibula. He played 13 games apiece in the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Prior to the 2003 season, Gary signed with the Bills as a free agent, and was traded to the Lions before the season.
The Patriots have worked out other running backs in recent weeks, including former Cowboy Erik Bickerstaff and former Bronco Quentin Griffin.
Dillon and Pass are listed as questionable on the Patriots’ latest injury report, and both weren’t present at the start of Wednesday’s practice which was open to the media.
Looking ahead, we’ll plan on filing our next update after Bill Belichick’s Thursday press conference, which is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. ET.