With Stevan Ridley's season over, the Patriots signed Jonas Gray off the practice squad before last Thursday's game against the Jets. The former undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame had three carries for 12 yards, and did enough to earn more playing time, according to Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
"Jonas works really hard," McDaniels said this week. "He's been well prepared and done a great job for us on the scout teams here. And certainly made the most of his opportunities in the preseason and just continues to prepare like he is playing each week."
But Gray's value doesn't show up on the stat sheet. He was solid in blitz pick-up, something many young backs struggle with.
"He had an opportunity to come up last week and help and I thought he did a good job in his role," McDaniels continued. "Didn't play -- I think he played a total of 11 plays, if I am correct on it -- but, again, did a great job of running hard, runs behind his pads, stays low, not the easiest guy in the world to bring down because he's a thick guy with the ball. ...
"He stepped in there and picked up the blitz a couple of times the other night. So just a young guy that is eager to do whatever is asked of him and we will continue to work with him and see if we can't continue to build on what we did the other night with him."
Originally signed by the Dolphins in 2013, he was released just before the 2013 season. After a stint on the Ravens practice squad, the Patriots signed him in January 2014 and he was on their practice squad until last week.