The New England Patriots’ training camp kicks into a higher gear on Saturday: for the first time since opening camp on Thursday, the team wears full pads which means that there will be full physical contact. Today’s news that two of the most integral players of New England’s offense return to practice can therefore be interpreted as good signs for their development: both Sony Michel and David Andrews are back on the practice fields.
Michel, of course, missed a sizable portion of the Patriots’ spring workouts after undergoing a knee arthroscopy earlier during the offseason. The second-year man was subsequently placed on the physically unable to perform list, and not participating during practice despite being present. Today, however, is different: as Nick Caserio said during his morning press conference, Michel was removed off PUP and cleared for practice.
Considering that the 24-year-old is projected to again play an integral role in the Patriots’ offensive attack, this is certainly great news for both the team and the running back. While New England will likely play it safe with Michel for the time being, simply seeing him back on the field is a positive sign when it comes to where his rehabilitation process stands at the moment — especially considering his injury history.
With Michel back, the Patriots have only six players remaining on injury-related reserve lists:
WR Julian Edelman (NFI)
WR Demaryius Thomas (PUP)
OT Yodny Cajuste (NFI)
OT Cole Croston (PUP)
CB Ken Webster (PUP)
SS Nate Ebner (PUP)
Michel is not the only returnee: after being a no-show on both Thursday and Friday, center David Andrews is also back — albeit in limited fashion. Andrews was not listed on PUP or NFI to open camp but according to Caserio is still considered day-to-day. That being said, today’s return is still very good news.