Patriots practice included some new and returning faces on Monday in Foxboro. Running back Sony Michel (knee) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (unknown) both returned for the early portions of practice, a good sign for their injury progress.
Michel has been out since Aug. 4 with a knee issue that required a relatively minor clean-up procedure. The injury was projected to keep him out for the entire preseason, which certainly looks like the case. It could also keep him out into the regular season.
Cannon's injury is unconfirmed at this point, but he had previously returned to practice after missing the start of training camp due to an ankle injury.
RB Rex Burkhead and CB Duke Dawson warmed up with the team as well. They've both been limited in recent weeks.
Three absences weren't surprising: TE Ryan Izzo, LB Harvey Langi, and OT Isaiah Wynn weren't present. OT Luke Bowanko was a new addition to that list.
It's possible that Bowanko has been released, because the Patriots had three new mystery players on the field - all on offense. New faces included a wide receiver wearing No. 19, and two smaller running backs wearing No. 27 and No. 42. There should be an official announcement pretty soon on those players.
Interesting that the Patriots brought in not one, but two running backs, considering their perceived depth at that position. But James White appears to be the only back who hasn't dealt with at least a minor injury this summer. An additional new receiver makes more sense, but it's hard to gauge how much of a chance that player would really have of making the team. These could be practice squad tryouts.
— 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 [email protected].