FOXBORO -- The primary halftime story here in a 6-6 tie between the Patriots and Cardinals is the relative sloppiness of both offenses. The Patriots have 129 yards of offense and the Cardinals have 111. Tom Brady's been sacked three times and he threw a pick on the first offensive play for New England, a tipped pass that was hauled in acrobatically by Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson. There are two developing stories as well: 1) what looks likea fairly serious ankle injury for Aaron Hernandez and 2) an even bigger role this week for Julian Edelman in place of Wes Welker. Hernandez went down while blocking for Edelman in the first quarter. Hernandez's right ankle was rolled over and it bent under the weight of the tacklers and Edelman. It could be a high ankle sprain which normally takes more than a month to recover from. As for the wideout reps, Edelman started in place of Welker and was on the field ahead of Welker in two wideout sets prior to the Hernandez injury. Last week, Welker had 43 snaps to Edelman's 23, leading to speculation Welker was being supplanted. That was a little premature based on the number of snaps, but this week's developments put the situation in a new light. One interesting tidbit that gains traction was pointed out to me by someone close to the team during training camp. Edelman and Brady spent a ton of time together in the offseason, time that in years past Welker was spending. A comfort level may have been reached and necessary improvement on Edelman's part may have been attained. Edelman's work during training camp was remarkably good. This could be a pro-Edelman move as opposed to an anti-Welker move. Still, with Welker making 9.5 million and having been targeted 173 times last season, it's too early after six quarters of football to conclude it's a freeze-out.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots will have a familiar face back on the practice field, it appears.
According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, running back Dion Lewis is expected to begin practicing this week. Lewis has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of the regular season.
Lewis tore his ACL in a Week 9 win over the Redskins last season, landing him on season-ending injured reserve. He was able to participate on a limited basis during OTAs but then experienced a setback that required surgery before the start of the season.
Once Lewis hits the practice field, the Patriots have a three-week window to place him on the active roster. The team currently has an open roster spot and could, in theory, activate him as early as this week.
When healthy last season, Lewis as a dynamic all-purpose back whose quickness allowed him to make defenders miss both in tight spaces between the tackles and in the open field as a receiver. The Patriots have used James White as their primary sub back in Lewis' absence, and he's on pace for a career year, with 27 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
Chris Gasper gives his list of things we still do not know about the New England Patriots this year.