FOXBORO -- Kellen Winslow has his hands full. The Patriots brought the veteran tight end aboard yesterday, and he's been engrossed in his new playbook ever since.
"Work to be done," Winslow said. "Just a lot of work. Trying to get the offense down and trying to find my way in the offense."
Asked if he'd be ready to play Sunday night in Baltimore, he wasn't certain.
"We'll see," he said. "It's just my job to make plays when it comes to me, and I just gotta get the offense down so I've got a lot of work to do."
Since tight end Aaron Hernandez is out with an ankle injury, Winslow could be counted on to try to fill a similar role. He admitted, though, he has a long way to go before he gets to the level where he's as comfortable in the offense as Hernandez was.
"A situation arose where Aaron got hurt," Winslow said. "And we're kind of similar so I thought I'd come in here and help out."
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.