Mankins (ankle) returns after brief absence

Mankins (ankle) returns after brief absence
December 29, 2013, 5:15 pm
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UPDATE: Mankins returned to the sideline just minutes after missing New England's fourth offensive drive of the game. He was back on the field on the next Patriots offensive possession.

FOXBORO -- The Patriots didn't have long to celebrate their first touchdown on Sunday. Moments after LeGarrette Blount sprinted into the end zone for a 36-yard score in the second quarter of New England's game with Buffalo, left guard Logan Mankins had to be helped off the field with an ankle injury.

The team announced that Mankins was questionable to return.

Mankins helped the Patriots run at will up to the point of his injury. New England built a 13-3 lead behind Blount (11 carries for 101 yards) and Stevan Ridley (5 carries, 48 yards).

Rookie guard Josh Kline entered the game to replace the veteran Pro Bowler. Kline started in Week 16 against the Ravens when tackle Nate Solder was out with a concussion and Mankins was made the starter at left tackle.

More to come . . .