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Injury update: Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell “has a real chance” to play on Sunday against the Jets

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New England's wideout returned to practice today.

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Earlier today, New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was spotted on the team's practice fields. This, in turn, means that the team has used one of its injured reserve returnee spots on the second-year man out of Georgia, opening a three-week window for him to be activated to the active 53-man roster.

This activation could happen sooner rather than later, according to NBC Sports Boston's Michael Giardi:

Source: Pats will "take it day by day" with Mitchell but believe he "has real chance" to make debut Sunday vs Jets

For what it's worth, the 2016 fourth round draft pick caught a combined seven passes for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his two career games against the New York Jets.

Mitchell was originally placed on injured reserve on September 7th because of a knee injury that bothered him all offseason. It appears as if the 24-year old is now at a point in his recovery where he can play again – whether at full speed or not remains to be seen. Still, his return will be a big boost to a Patriots offense that has had health and at times production issues at the wide receiver position.

Of course, the team would be smart not to rush Mitchell back. After all, New England has already locked up a bye during the wild card playoff games and is in a position to give its banged up players additional time to recover. Therefore, it would not be a surprise if the team ultimately decides not to activate Mitchell just yet.