The New England Patriots appeared to get a little healthier on Sunday, three days after a season-ending Achilles injury reportedly struck rookie Isaiah Wynn. Running back Rex Burkhead returned to practice, taking the field for the first time since he had to depart during team drills on Aug. 8.
Burkhead has been dealing with a “slight tear” in his knee, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe via Twitter. That certainly sounds concerning, but the injury is reportedly minor and something he should be able to play through. He even could’ve played in last Thursday’s preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Patriots are being understandably cautious with the versatile running back.
Players shed the pads for Sunday’s walkthrough, which also had recent limited players like WR Kenny Britt, rookie CB Duke Dawson, and DE Trey Flowers in attendance. WR Braxton Berrios also practiced after not playing in Thursday’s game.
Wynn was absent, and will miss the entire season with his apparent Achilles injury. Others who missed Sunday’s practice included OT Marcus Cannon, LB Harvey Langi, and rookie RB Sony Michel.
Cannon, however, is expected to be ready to return by the start of the regular season, according to Howe.
Michel’s timetable remains more uncertain as he works his way back from a reported “clean-up” procedure on his knee. Two sources told Howe that Michel’s injury could possibly force him to miss time into the regular season. The rookie’s knee situation has consistently been described as a minor one, though.
Britt was limited for most of Patriots training camp, almost always participating in only warmups and early individual drills before departing for the lower field. He first suffered a hamstring injury near the end of the first day of Patriots minicamp on June 5, after impressing observers in team drills. He told reporters on Sunday that he’s surprised the hamstring injury has lingered as long as it has.
“I expected to be out there [by now],” Britt said. “But my hamstring told me something different.”
After Wynn’s discouraging setback, the Patriots could’ve used some positive injury news. The hope is that Burkhead doesn’t suffer a setback of his own and works his way back into the lineup this week. Injury attention should turn back toward Michel, now the only hope the Patriots have of getting a contribution from their rookie first-round picks in 2018. Dawson, who had been practicing as the first-team slot corner prior to his injury, is also an injury to monitor moving forward.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.