Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots will be without running back Shane Vereen for at least eight weeks after placing him on injured reserve with a designation to return on Tuesday.
The move comes one day after various media outlets reported that Vereen underwent surgery Monday to repair a fracture of a small bone in his wrist. The third-year pro sustained the injury during New England's season-opening 23-21 win at Buffalo on Sunday.
Vereen reportedly hurt his wrist on his first play of the game, but played through it and racked up 101 rushing yards on 14 carries while adding seven receptions totaling another 58 yards.
The versatile 24-year-old appeared to be in line for another big role in Thursday's matchup against the New York Jets, with starting running back Stevan Ridley losing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by the Bills and having another overturned by a replay review.
Vereen will be eligible to resume practicing in six weeks and can return to the active roster following the Patriots' Week 10 bye at the earliest.
New England re-signed tight end Matthew Mulligan to fill the available roster spot. The blocking specialist had been signed by the Pats on Sept. 3, shortly after being released by Green Bay during final cuts, but was cut loose two days later.
The Patriots were entering Thursday's game short-handed at the tight end position with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski still on the mend from offseason back surgery and rookie Zach Sudfeld injuring his hamstring in the Buffalo game.
New England does have four running backs currently on the roster in Ridley, LeGarette Blount, Brandon Bolden and veteran Leon Washington.