The Rap Sheet is reporting that Guard Logan Mankins will be activated for Sunday's game, meaning that the Patriots will have to cut a player to open a roster spot. It seems that player will be Cornerback Terrence Wheatley, the injured maligned 2008 2nd round draft pick. In addition, the article states that there's a chance that Mankins might even start over guard Dan Connolly, a realization due to Mankins' practice reps being taken with mostly first stringers.
Losing Wheatley hurts the secondary's depth, but it won't have that much of an impact, due to Wheatley's inability to stay healthy and reach the field. Last week, when Darius Butler took the field when Devin McCourty had the wind knocked out of him, it was signified that Wheatley was at the bottom of the cornerback depth chart- aka: on the roster bubble. With practice squad Cornerback Tony Carter playing well (and receiving practice player of the week twice in a row, and three times this season), Wheatley became expendable. It's a shame, especially because of the potential talent he displayed as a rookie and during this year's training camp.
On the other hand, having Mankins on the roster immediately bolsters an interior line that had looked rather depleted. If Mankins can play, that means that Connolly is back to top back-up, or might even take some snaps at center away from Dan Koppen. Mankins will most likely be eased into a workload because he's missed so much football, but hopefully he'll still have a large, positive impact.
Just some interesting things to note while looking to Sunday's game.
Update!: Mike Reiss is reporting that the Patriots have also released Tyrone McKenzie from the practice squad. McKenzie is being released so he can "pursue other opportunities." McKenzie was buried in a depth chart behind Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spike, Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher (all within their first 3 seasons in the NFL), who are all players who look to be with the Patriots for the next few years. McKenzie didn't really have a chance to make the roster, but he'll most likely stick somewhere else. He's a talented player, but the Patriots are too stacked in Inside Linebacker.