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Shane Vereen on Stevan Ridley: ‘We’re there when he needs us’

12.05.13 at 2:47 pm ET
Shane Vereen was supporting teammate Stevan Ridley on Thursday. (AP)

Shane Vereen was supporting teammate Stevan Ridley on Thursday. (AP)

FOXBORO — Shane Vereen has the back of teammate Stevan Ridley.

Both running backs came into the league in 2011. Both have battled issues at one point or another. Injuries limited Vereen to just five games in his rookie season of 2011 while a broken wrist in the season opener forced him to miss eight games this season.

But now it’s Ridley who is struggling to find the field. Ridley has lost all four of his fumbles this season and was benched for the game in Houston on Sunday. After Ridley declined to speak with reporters on Thursday, Vereen moments later came to his defense.

“Everybody goes through their ups and downs, and when you’re down, you need teammates, you need friends to help bring you back to where you should be and start playing with confidence again,” Vereen said. “Stevan is a great player. We’re there when he needs us. But he knows what he has to do and we fully expect him to do that.”

While Vereen is fourth in rushing yardage behind Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden, he is the No. 1 receiver among the running backs corps with 28 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown.

“We’ve definitely got work to do, but we’ve put ourselves in a pretty good situation, but there’s room to improve,” Vereen said. “We need to improve if we want to continue playing.”

Ridley also said on Thursday that he feels good and the wrist injury is no longer an issue, despite still wearing a brace for games.

“I haven’t had any problems with it, haven’t had any issues with it,” Vereen said. “Really, there’s not too much thought about it at all.”

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