According to the Patriots beat reporters, captain and stud linebacker Jerod Mayo has returned to practice.
Mayo injured his knee (MCL) during the game against Oakland and appeared to have sustained a tremendous injury. After the game, it turned out that Mayo looked to be out four to six weeks with an MCL strain. Well, just two weeks later, it appears as if Mayo is ready to get back on the field.
The Patriots practiced in light shells on Friday, which means that Mayo could be close to a return. Of course, the Patriots face Dallas on Sunday and then have their bye week. In my opinion, I believe that Mayo should take these next two weeks to recuperate and prepare himself for the Steelers match-up in Week 8. While the return of Mayo would be a tremendous addition while playing the Cowboys, a premature return could cause additional damage that would force Mayo out for the rest of the season.
Having Mayo back on the field is a good first step in his recovery process.
In other news, the Patriots finally sent defensive lineman Mike Wright to the injured reserve list to end his season. He was having trouble watching television screens and focusing on film study and that would prevent him from being a full contributing member to the defense. Hopefully, Wright can call it a career and stay as healthy as he can for the rest of his life.
In response to the roster transaction, the Patriots are on the hunt for additional defensive linemen. After bringing in two players for workouts, it seems as if a player wearing #90 has taken the practice field. I wouldn't be surprised if that was Darryl Richard, the preseason super star who made some noise in the pass rushing game.
Edit: The new player is Marcus Harrison. The Patriots released CB Phillip Adams to make space. Harrison was a rotational defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears for two seasons before reporting to camp overweight. He was let go and then cut by the Carolina Panthers for failing the physical prior to this season.
In college, Harrison was a four year starter at Arkansas. He was arrested for possession of ecstasy and marijuana and has an extensive injury history. He's big at 6'3, 310 lbs and is not known for his pass rushing. He's a run stuffing lineman who can maintain two gaps. Don't be surprised if he backs up Shaun Ellis at the defensive end slot and rotates in and out.