Today is a good day for the New England Patriots: after reportedly signing starting right guard Shaq Mason to a massive five-year contract extension worth up to $50 million, the team also received reinforcements on the field. According to reports from Foxboro, running back Sony Michel and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon returned to practice after being absent since early August.
Both players left the team’s training camp session on August 1 and have not been spotted since. While first-round rookie Michel reportedly suffered a minor knee injury that day, starting right tackle Cannon has been dealing with an undisclosed issue the last three weeks. And while both are likely still limited, their returns are encouraging both players and the team’s offense.
After all, both Michel and Cannon are expected to see considerable playing time this year. When healthy, Cannon will play close to 100% of New England’s offensive snaps every given week; Michel, meanwhile, is projected to see plenty of action as a versatile rotational option on early downs and in the red area — one whose availability might impact New England’s running back depth chart with roster cuts on the horizon.
The Patriots also welcomed three new players at practice today: according to NESN’s Doug Kyed, running backs Kenneth Farrow and Khalfani Muhammad were on the field today, as was wide receiver K.J. Maye. All three are long-shots to make the team, but add depth ahead of the Patriots’ preseason finale on Thursday.