Yesterday, the New England Patriots held their first practice since last week’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The walkthrough session was the first since the public portion of training camp came to an end, which means that reporters were only allowed to attend a short window at the beginning of the session. That being said, there were still some encouraging reports coming out of Foxboro.
According to reporters on site, running back Rex Burkhead returned to practice after an almost two-week absence. The second-year Patriot, who is projected to play a big role this season after the free agency departure of Dion Lewis, originally injured his knee on August 8 and was not spotted since – neither did he practice nor participate in one of New England’s two preseason contests so far.
And while he will probably sit out the remaining two games before the regular season starts, Burkhead returning to the practice fields can be seen as a good sign for his rehabilitation process. Having the 28-year old back – even if his workload will likely still remain limited early on – creates more flexibility in an offensive backfield that also currently misses first-round draft pick Sony Michel.
Michel, who is reportedly also dealing with a knee issue, left practice on August 1 and has been out ever since. Yesterday, the rookie was one of four players not spotted: linebacker Harvey Langi (kidney laceration), and offensive tackles Marcus Cannon (unknown) and Isaiah Wynn (Achilles; headed for injured reserve) also did not participate in the session.
Every other player was present, including six who did not suit up for last week’s win against the Eagles: wide receivers Braxton Berrios, Kenny Britt and Matthew Slater, defensive edge Trey Flowers, and cornerbacks Duke Dawson and Ryan Lewis.