FOXBORO, Mass. — This might be the start of something special for Shane Vereen.
Vereen finally had his coming out party on Sunday night, and he did it in the biggest game of his young career. In his postseason debut, Vereen ran for 41 yards, hauled in five passes for another 83 yards and became just the third Patriots player ever to score three touchdowns in a playoff game — joining Curtis Martin and Rob Gronkowski on that list. It was a good night for Vereen, but he nearly didn’t get a chance to put up those big totals.
Danny Woodhead was the running back that started the game in the Patriots’ backfield, and the game plan was originally meant to revolve around him, at least according to Tom Brady after the game. But a first-quarter thumb injury caused a change of plans, and Vereen immediately stepped in to fill Woodhead’s shoes.
“We hate to lose Woody,” Vereen said in the locker room after the 41-28 win. “He is such a key part of our offense, but at the same time, all of the runnin...