FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 27: LeGarrette Blount #29 of the New England Patriots celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on September 27, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Patriots are in the Super Bowl thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, of course, but they also might not be there without LaGarrette Blount.

After bouncing around the NFL a bit in his seven pro seasons and winding up on the waiver wire several times, Blount has found his niche with the Patriots. Blount rushed for 1,161 yards this season and led the NFL with 18 touchdowns, thriving as the burly power option in New England’s platoon backfield.

There was a time when Blount appeared unlikely to have any NFL career at all. After the opening game of his senior season at Oregon, Blount punched a Boise State player in the face, earning a season-long suspension from coach Chip Kelly. At that point, this was the prevailing opinion:


Much of the Blount-is-done sentiment seems to have come in response to a Todd McShay article that has mysteriously disappeared from the internet. We’ve found several message board posts and a Huffington Post article written by Dave Zirin that reference the article, in which an anonymous NFL scouting director said this: “In the matter of five minutes, Blount just went from second- or third-rounder to completely undraftable.”

As it turned out, Blount did indeed go undrafted, but he was signed by the Titans then the Bucs, and he rushed for 1,007 yards as a rookie in Tampa. His NFL career since then has not always been smooth—he’s been waived several times and was once suspended for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy—but he’s become a productive running back and a valued member of a Super Bowl team.

Blount’s success over the past seven seasons make these post-punch takes look a wee bit reactionary:

More than 5,000 NFL rushing yards after the punch, Blount is still running. We’re glad he got a second chance.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.