Report: Mankins among six Patriots on ActivePUP list


Report: Mankins among six Patriots on ActivePUP list

The Patriots will begin training camp on Thursday, but there will be a handful of players who won't be participating right away.

The Patriots placed Logan Mankins, Brandon Spikes, Sebastian Vollmer, Daniel Fells, Myron Pryor, and Jake Ballard on activePUP list on Monday, according to

Mankins is recovering from ACL surgery after injuring it in Super Bowl XLVI and it's unclear when he will be back at this point. Brandon Spikes (knee) and Sebastian Vollmer (back) are also recovering from offseason surgery.

Jake Ballard (knee) is expected to miss the 2012 season.

A noticeable name not on that list is tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has had quite the summer for himself and appears to be ready for what training camp has in store.

Another good sign is the absence of defensive end Jonathan Fanene, who injured his left leg during Patriots minicamp last month.

There was some hope that tight end Daniel Fells (leg) would be ready for the start of training camp, but that doesn't look to be the case. The Patriots reportedly worked out Visanthe Shiancoe earlier this week and will continue to look at tight ends as long as Fells is down.

The Pats have until the end of the preseason to take these players off the list. Any player on the list after that will be forced to miss the first six weeks of the regular season.

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language


Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

When Kyle Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October, he had a lot to learn. He needed to understand the layout of his new team's maze-like facility. He needed to adjust to a new locker room. He needed to adapt to a new home. 

He also had to become fluent in a new language.

The former Lions 'backer was inactive for two weeks before he was comfortable enough with the Patriots system -- and the coaching staff was comfortable enough with him -- to get on the field. He played 29 snaps against the Niners in first game with his new club, then saw 28 plays against the Jets. On Sunday he saw his role expand as he played 40 of a possible 51 plays, which was more than Shea McClellin (38) or Dont'a Hightower (33). 

"Kyle has done a great job of working really hard to acclimate to what we’re doing, and he has had to learn really fast as far as the system, the communication, the language," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s like when you go to a different system, offensively or defensively, a lot of times it’s just learning the vernacular and the verbiage . . . That’s a big part of it. Then getting more familiar with that kind of terminology and the communication is critical because there’s a lot of calls and adjustments, things like that that we’ve got to do on the field."

Van Noy was making some of those calls himself on Sunday as he wore the green dot on his helmet when Hightower was on the sidelines. Even with the added responsibility, Van Noy was able to play freely enough that he put together what might have been the best game of his three-year career. 

Used at the end of the line of scrimmage as well as in a more traditional off-the-line linebacker role, Van Noy was effective in defending both the pass and the run: He stuffed three Rams rush attempts, he recorded a quarterback hit that led to an incompletion, he drew a holding call, and he recorded an athletic interception when he tracked a wobbling Jared Goff pass that floated over the middle after Jabaal Sheard hit Goff's arm as the rookie released his throw.

After several of his stand-out plays, Van Noy was visibly excited on the field and later on the sidelines. It was the culmination of six weeks of work, learning as much as he could from a coaching staff that was eager to teach him. 

"He’s extremely prideful in his work and his approach to the game," Patricia said. "He’s very cerebral. He’ll ask a lot of questions. He really wants to understand what we’re doing and why, which is great. We’re trying to give him those answers and insight into kind of where some of this either came from or developed or situations like that so that’s really good."