A league source has confirmed that Visanthe Shiancoe returned to practice Tuesday.
The tight end was placed on the NFL's new short-term injured reserve on September 5. His ailment was never disclosed.
The "designated to return" rule allows a player to begin practicing again six weeks after being placed on IR; he is eligible to return to the Active List after the eighth week.
But there is a caveat: Shiancoe must be activated to the 53-man roster within 21 days or else remain on IR for the rest of the year.
ESPNBoston was first to report.
Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News breaks down the player the New England Patriots are getting in LB David Harris.
A scholarly blog from Emory ranks the Patriots as having the second-best fan base in the NFL.
Compiled by professor Mike Lewis and favoring in numerous statistical data, the list ranks the Patriots first in terms of “social equity,” third in “fan equity” and fifth in “road equity.” The Cowboys hold the top overall spot.
The following graphic is from Lewis' report.
Lewis allows for the possibility that many of New England’s fans may be bandwagon fans, but that the league’s Deflategate scandal boosted engagement from Patriots dans on social media.
Click here for the full report.