Former Bengal Rex Burkhead set to have breakout season

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CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Rex Burkhead #33 of the Cincinnati Bengals is introduced to the crowd prior to the start of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Rex Burkhead #33 of the Cincinnati Bengals is introduced to the crowd prior to the start of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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Former Bengals’ running back, Rex Burkhead, left the Queen City last offseason during free agency. He signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots and from the moment he signed, it felt like he belonged in New England. Now, with Julian Edelman suffering a torn ACL, the former Bengal may have a bigger role in the offense and could have Cincinnati regretting his release.

Rex Burkhead was one of my favorite players who was just buried under depth. Even during his time back in Nebraska, Burkhead always had the kind of demeanor that would be critical to his success as a professional player. All he ever needed was playing time and Burkhead may finally have it in New England.

First off, no one ever wants to see injuries. Especially, to a great player like Julian Edelman. However, injuries are part of the game. And while injuries bring great players down, they are also the birth of them. Just look at Tom Brady.

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Back in Cincinnati, Who Dey Nation saw a glimpse of what Burkhead could do. But, it mainly came against backups on mop-up duty and in Week 17 games that didn’t really matter. Despite that being said, in Burkhead’s last game as a Bengal, he rushed for 119 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. He also added two catches for 25 yards.

The week prior to his breakout performance, Burkhead caught four passes for 26 yards and ran for 42 yards on 12 carries.

Rex has taken hold of Bill Belichick’s eye. And in his lone preseason game, in Week 2 against the Houston Texans, Burkhead actually started beside Tom Brady. Burkhead ran seven times for 20 yards and caught a pair of passes and took one 22 yards for a TD.

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T-Rex will continue to compete with fellow running backs Mike Gillislee, James White and Dion Lewis for playing time. While he may not become the starter, with Edelman out for the season, he can step into the slot and work from there. He did it multiple times in Cincy.

Bold Prediction: Burkhead becomes the starter in New England, rushes for over 1,000 yards and becomes a Pro Bowler in his first year starting.

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