FOXBORO -- The Patriots keep the the lid tamped down on injuries, just like they do with everything else. Bill Belichick did share a sliver of information when asked Sunday about Dane Fletcher's progress, however.
The linebacker's 2012 season ended in infancy when he tore his ACL August 9. It sounds like a year of rehab while on injured reserve has done him well.
"Dane was out there all spring; he didn't miss anything," Belichick noted before today's practice session. "I think that his movement skills and speed, and all those things, are at a good level." We'll start the contact process for him today -- him and the veterans that just reported on Thursday. So then we'll work through that part of it. So far, I don't think he's had any physical limitations to what we've done, but we're starting another phase of that today."
Of course, Fletcher's status is more straightforward than someone like Armond Armstead.
The defensive tackle recently received an uncommon health designation in being placed on the non-football illness list Monday, July 22. It's only natural to wonder if Armstead's NFI tag is related to the heart attack he suffered while at USC, especially as he admitted this spring that cardiologists still check up on him.
Belichick's word on the matter? "I think it's a different situation."
His response to whether or not Armstead's health warrants long-term concern was also vague.
"If we have anything, we'll talk about it," the coach said. "But not at this time."