Snaps: Lloyd's 31 a season low

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
5:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A look at the snaps played by Patriots’ skill-position players in the team’s 28-0 win over the Dolphins, while analyzing what it means (small margin for error):

QB Tom Brady -- 80 of 80
WR Wes Welker – 75 of 80
WR Deion Branch – 62 of 80
TE Aaron Hernandez – 51 of 80
TE Michael Hoomanawanui – 47 of 80
RB Stevan Ridley – 32 of 80
WR Brandon Lloyd – 31 of 80
RB Danny Woodhead – 28 of 80
TE Rob Gronkowski – 25 of 80
TE Daniel Fells – 23 of 80
RB Shane Vereen – 15 of 80
RB Brandon Bolden – 6 of 80
WR Matthew Slater – 3 of 80
OL/TE Donald Thomas – 2 of 80*

(Penalties included.)
* Thomas credited for snaps as he was new player to come on to the field, but Dan Connolly was moved to eligible position.

ANALYSIS: Brandon Lloyd’s knee appeared to be a pre-game question mark as he was seen working out on the field in front of members of the team’s athletic training and medical staff about two hours before kickoff. That probably also explains why the Patriots promoted receiver Kamar Aiken from the practice squad Saturday but didn’t dress him for the game (there was probably enough question with Lloyd so the Patriots’ coaching staff probably felt it had to protect itself). Lloyd’s 31 snaps were a season low (previous low, 34, vs. Colts) , as he was replaced in 2-WR packages for most of the game, with Deion Branch taking his spot. Branch’s 62 snaps are 1 shy of his season-high (63 vs. Seahawks on Oct. 14). … This was the first game this season that the top four tight ends all played 20 snaps or more, which reflects a lot of multiple-TE work in the game-plan. In fact, there was only one other game this season in which the top four tight ends all logged snaps, and that came against the Jets on Oct. 21. … At running back, Shane Vereen’s fumble against the 49ers and one play of shaky pass protection last week against the Jaguars didn’t cost him, as the coaching staff showed its confidence in him by upping his workload a bit. Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead were right around their league average for snaps played.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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