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Patriots linebacker Chase Winovich returns to practice, opening 21-day activation window

Related: Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown spotted back at practice, opening 21-day window to return

NFL: AUG 25 New England Patriots New York Giants Joint Training Camp Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One day after Trent Brown’s return, the New England Patriots welcomed another member of their injured reserve list back at practice. Linebacker Chase Winovich was spotted by the reporters on site, which means that his 21-day roster activation window has now been opened.

Over the next three weeks, the Patriots will have to make a decision on Winovich: either they will activate him to their 53-man roster or else he will revert back to injured reserve and stay there for the remainder of the season.

Winovich, 26, was originally sent to injured reserve in mid-October after hurting his hamstring during the overtime loss to they Dallas Cowboys. Before the injury, he served as a rotational member of New England’s linebacker group: playing 19 percent of the snaps on defense, he recorded seven tackles and one quarterback hit. He also played 47 percent of the Patriots’ special teams snaps, notching four tackles.

A third-round draft pick by New England in 2019, Winovich has appeared in a combined 39 regular season and playoff games over the course of his career. He recorded 11 sacks along the way, including a team-leading 5.5 last season.

In case the team does decide to activate Winovich at one point over the coming three weeks, it would have to free up a spot for him on the 53-man roster. At the moment, 10 of those are filled by members of the linebacker group.

In theory, Winovich could be activated as early as this week and therefore take the field against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium will be at 1 p.m. ET.