Gators in the NFL: Gillislee the odd man out in New England

In this file photo, Patriots running back Mike Gillislee (left) celebrates with quarterback Tom Brady after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of the season-opener against the Chiefs back in September. [AP Photo/Michael Dwyer]

New England running back Mike Gillislee was not a part of the Patriots active roster for the fourth straight game, including New England’s 23-3 win over Buffalo on Sunday.
Gillislee still leads the team with four rushing touchdowns, but New England’s three other running backs offer skillsets that Gillislee lacks.
James White, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis are all better pass-catching options than Gillislee who has zero targets in the passing game this season; White has 51 receptions, Burkhead has 24 and Lewis has 15. Gillislee only has 15 receptions in his NFL career.
Gillislee’s lack of a threat as a pass catcher is something defenses key in on, making the Pats offense far more predictable and less dynamic when he is in the game. Additionally, Gillislee is the only Patriots running back to fumble this season and hasn’t broken a run longer than 16 yards.
Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis also play key roles on special teams returning kickoffs and Burkhead even has four tackles on his kick and punt coverage duties. Then you have James White who was in the running for Super Bowl MVP last season, leaving Gillislee the odd man out in a crowded backfield.
Luckily he had former-teammate LeSean McCoy to lift his spirits after the game:

The week after his break-out game versus the Eagles, Chicago defensive end Jonathan Bullard recorded four total tackles including one tackle for loss as Chicago fell to San Francisco 15-14. For the 49ers, wide receiver Louis Murphy was targeted six times and made one catch for 16 yards.

Falcons safety Keanu Neal made 10 total tackles in Atlanta’s 14-9 home loss to the league-leading Minnesota Vikings (10-2). Cornerback Brian Poole did not play.

Safety Marcus Maye was third on the team with five total tackles in the New York Jets’ 38-31 home win over Kansas City.

Indianapolis linebackers Antonio Morrison and Jon Bostic recorded six tackles each in the Colts 30-10 loss to Jacksonville. Cornerback Quincy Wilson saw increased field time and made four tackles for the Colts.

Rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis led Detroit with eight tackles as the Lions fell to the Ravens 44-20 on the road.

Bills wide receiver Deonte Thompson had just two receptions on eight targets for 21 yards as Buffalo lost to division-foe New England.

Texans wide receiver Chris Thompson returned punts and kickoffs for Houston in its 24-13 loss to Tennessee and saw increased snaps on offense (50), making one catch for 11 yards. Linebacker Jelani Jenkins suffered a concussion in the loss.

Philadelphia tight end Trey Burton hauled in four catches for 42 yards in Philadelphia’s 24-10 loss at Seattle on Sunday Night Football.

Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap sacked Ben Roethlisberger and tipped one of his passes, but Cincinnati couldn’t hold on and lost 23-20 to the Steelers. The sack tied Dunlap with Reggie Williams for second all-time sacks list in Bengals history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


This Gators in The NFL list only includes the players who finished their college careers at UF and didn’t transfer to finish up elsewhere.

Arizona Cardinals 
D.J. Humphries (T) — Injured reserve
Earl Okine (DE) — Practice Squad
Atlanta Falcons 
Keanu Neal (SS)
Brian Poole (DB)
Joey Ivie (DE) — Practice Squad
Buffalo Bills
Deonte Thompson (WR)
Carolina Panthers 
Bryan Cox Jr. (DE)
Chicago Bears 
Jonathan Bullard (DT)
Cincinnati Bengals 
Carlos Dunlap (DE)
Cleveland Browns 
Caleb Brantley (DT)
Dallas Cowboys 
Chaz Green (T)
Denver Broncos 
Max Garcia (G)
Detroit Lions 
Jarrad Davis (LB)
Teez Tabor (CB)
Houston Texans 
Chris Thompson (WR)
Indianapolis Colts
Jon Bostic (LB)
Quincy Wilson (CB)
Antonio Morrison (ILB)
Matt Jones (RB)
Jacksonville Jaguars 
Dante Fowler Jr. (DE)
Lerentee McCray (DE)
Kansas City Chiefs 
Demarcus Robinson (WR)
Los Angeles Rams 
Dominique Easley (DT) — Injured reserve
Miami Dolphins
Mike Pouncey (C)
Minnesota Vikings
Mack Brown (RB)
Sharrif Floyd (DT) — Injured Reserve
New England Patriots
Mike Gillislee (RB)
New Orleans Saints 
Alex Anzalone (LB) — Injured Reserve
New York Giants 
Jon Halapio (OT)
New York Jets
Jonotthan Harrison (C)
Marcus Maye (S)
Oakland Raiders 
Reggie Nelson (DB)
David Sharpe (OT)
Philadelphia Eagles 
Trey Burton (TE)
Jaylen Watkins (DB)
Caleb Sturgis (K) — Injured Reserve
Alex McCalister (DE) — Injured Reserve
Pittsburgh Steelers 
Marcus Gilbert (T) — On suspended list
Maurkice Pouncey (C)
Joe Haden (CB)
Jake McGee (TE) — Practice Squad
San Francisco 49ers
Trent Brown (T)
Louis Murphy (WR)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vernon Hargreaves (CB)
Justin Trattou (DE) — Injured reserve
Washington Redskins 
Quinton Dunbar (CB)
Jordan Reed (TE)