New England Patriots RB Mike Gillislee returned to the practice field on Tuesday and it was unknown in what capacity. Gillislee spoke with the media after practice and claimed that he was a full participant and “was 100%.”
Gillislee hasn’t played in either preseason game and fellow signing Rex Burkhead has climbed the depth chart with an impressive performance against the Houston Texans. Gillislee will be playing catch up for the rest of the preseason, but there’s a chance he’ll have an immediate opportunity to show his ability in week 3 of the preseason against the Detroit Lions.
According to NESN’s Doug Kyed, Gillislee’s pads are packed for the trip out to Detroit where the two teams will hold joint practices.
Jelks, Garcia, Wise, Rivers, Hightower, King, McClellin, Cannon, Lengel, Slater are only Patriots without shoulder pads packed for Detroit.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 23, 2017
Perhaps Gillislee will practice and not play, but there’s a very real chance that he will take the field and make his case. We’ve seen the coaching staff rotate players in the preseason simply based upon their playing time thus far, and not because of their standing in the depth chart, so don’t read too far into it if Gillislee plays a lot and Burkhead does not.
But Kyed’s list implies that LB Dont’a Hightower, EDGE Shea McClellin, and RT Marcus Cannon are not making the trip to Detroit. LT Nate Solder should be making the trip and could play.
The Patriots will be short-handed on the edge, again, if Hightower, McClellin, Deatrich Wise, and Derek Rivers don’t travel, but that will allow Kony Ealy and Harvey Langi to play more snaps and for rookie Keionta Davis to potentially make his Patriots debut.