FOXBORO -- Usually, the Patriots split up defensive and offensive players at practice with the defense wearing blue and the offense wearing white. They were mixed together on Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, as the Pats prepared for some type of bye-week scrimmage.
Five Patriots players were absent from the start of the scrimmage, most notably quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady was in the locker room in sweats Tuesday, so he's likely getting a break. And that's about as much of an update as there is available; the Patriots don't have to release an injury report this week.
Brian Hoyer lead the team's offense in practice. The quartet missing in addition to Brady: Albert Haynesworth, Matt Light, Dane Fletcher, and Ras-I Dowling.
FOXBORO -- Dion Lewis is reportedly set to return to the practice field this week, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, and you should expect the Patriots to move carefully as the running back edges closer to a return.
The team will have until November 16 to decide whether to activate Lewis, who tore his ACL last season against Washington on November 9. The ACL healed fine for Lewis after surgery was performed by renowned sports orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews. But knee pain that developed during the summer was found to be a patella stress fracture. That kind of injury is rare but not unheard of after ACL repairs as quadriceps flexion can put stress on a grafted area (and Lewis has giant quads). The remedy is inserting screws in the patella which was done in Lewis’ case.
Now, with the “clock” started on Lewis’ return from the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, determining how well he responds to the increased workload of practice and then padded practice and hitting will be the next step in determining whether he returns by the middle of next month or is put on IR.
Meanwhile, the performance of James White so far has mitigated the sting of Lewis’ absence. While Lewis’ return wouldn’t be accelerated based upon on-field need – this isn’t a “rush ‘em back”-type injury – the team has to feel a little less urgency given White’s contributions so far as a runner and receiver. White is on pace for a career year, with 27 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns.