After enjoying their first round playoff bye over the weekend, the New England Patriots returned to practice today. And as has been the case during last week’s final session on Thursday, the team had very good but not perfect participation: Only one member of the Patriots’ active roster, running back Mike Gillislee, was not spotted during the portion of practice open to the media.
The first-year Patriot, who joined the team as a restricted free agent signing this offseason, is dealing with a knee injury. As a result of the ailment, Gillislee was already forced to miss New England’s regular season finale against the New York Jets. The first injury report of the week, to be released later today, will give more information on the running back’s status and whether or not he entered practice at a later point.
One player that will not be listed on the injury report is Malcolm Mitchell. The second-year wide receiver has missed the entire regular season because of a knee injury that forced the team to place him on injured reserve. Mitchell was designated to return prior to week 17’s game against the Jets but has not yet been activated to the active roster. The Patriots have until next week to do so - if Mitchell is physically ready.
Mitchell practiced with the team all of the last two weeks but was a no-show today. His absence comes only a few hours after head coach Bill Belichick acknowledged that the 24-year old had a lot of ground to make up after his injury. Don’t be therefore surprised if Mitchell will not return this season.