Patriots RBs Burkhead, Gillislee out against Titans

Dec 3 2017 Orchard Park NY USA New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead runs the ball wide during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Burkhead, who injured his knee during the December 17 game against the Steelers and hasn't played since, has 518 yards from scrimmage and eight TDs this season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Burkhead and fellow running back Mike Gillislee will both miss the team's playoff opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Burkhead and Gillislee are both listed as questionable with knee injuries.

The 27-year-old, who rushed for 264 yards and five touchdowns this season, told reporters Thursday that he was "excited" about the prospect of returning against the Titans.

"After the [knee] injury, you never know what is going to happen", said Burkhead on Thursday. "So that's always in the back of your head". Prior to that, he was averaging 55 yards per game and.6 touchdowns per game.

The New England Patriots will be without two of their running backs on Saturday.

This year, he rushed for 383 yards and five scores in nine contests as he failed to carve out a consistent niche in the Pats' rushing attack.

Gillislee was also a limited participant in practice on Thursday, marking the first time he returned to the field since hurting his knee during the Patriots' Week 16 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots running-back-by-committee group will be without two members in Saturday's divisional-round matchup with the Titans.

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