BOSTON -- The Patriots' offensive game plan on Sunday relied heavily on the use of Rhamondre Stevenson.
It was proving effective, too, until the running back suffered an injury that abruptly ended New England's second drive of the game.
Stevenson was tackled near the line of scrimmage on a second-and-5 at the 31-yard line of the visiting Los Angeles Chargers. Stevenson fumbled on his way to the turf, and the Chargers recovered the loose ball.
Stevenson remained down after the play, and he needed the assistance of trainers to get to the sideline on one leg. Replay showed Tuli Tuipulotu landed on Stevenson's right ankle while completing the tackle.
Prior to the fumble, Stevenson had nine rushing attempts for 40 yards, and he caught a pass for one yard as well, getting the football on 10 of the Patriots' first 16 plays.
Stevenson entered Sunday as the Patriots' leader in yards from scrimmage by a large margin, with 818. Ezekiel Elliott ranked second, with 491 yards from scrimmage.
The Patriots listed Stevenson as questionable to return to the game, but he did not return for the remainder of the first half. At halftime, he was downgraded to out, officially ending his day.
The Patriots went on to lose, 6-0.
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