Hot Button: Solving the Ridley Riddle

AP Photo/Jim Mahoney

Can the Patriots trust running back Stevan Ridley to carry a heavy load given his recent inability to protect the ball? He has fumbled in two of the Patriots' last three games, the last one coming in the third quarter of Sunday night's loss to the Niners. After his third-quarter fumble, he played just one snap the rest of the game.

Ridley's role was the subject of this week's Hot Button debate between ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak and Field Yates. Rodak argues that the Patriots rally have no choice other than to continue to rely on Ridley, who has been the team's workhorse all season, while Yates thinks the back has to regain his coach's trust before he can regain his standing as a primary back.

Your turn: Where do you stand on the Ridley Riddle? Check out their arguments in the Hot Button feature, vote in the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments section.