The New England Patriots returned to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday to continue their preparation for the upcoming game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And for the second day in a row the team saw some players come off the Coronavirus reserve list.
After running back Rhamondre Stevenson and linebacker Harvey Langi rejoined their teammates on Wednesday, defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. returned on Thursday. His return indicates that he has been activated off the Covid-19 list.
Wise Jr, 27, tested positive on Dec. 25 and had to miss New England’s game against the Buffalo Bills as a result. Now in his fifth season since joining the team as a fourth-round draft selection, the Arkansas product appeared in all 14 of the Patriots’ contests before his stint on reserve/Covid-19. He registered 36 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble while playing roughly 52 percent of defensive snaps.
His return is obviously good news for a defense that continues to be without three members of its linebacker group. Matthew Judon, Ja’Whaun Bentley and Josh Uche were both sent to the Coronavirus list earlier this week. They are joined by backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and special teamer Brandon King.
Under the NFL’s new protocols all five of them are eligible to return ahead of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars regardless of their vaccination status. The Patriots’ game versus Jacksonville is set for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.