New England Patriots

Sep 13, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) prepares to take a snap from center David Andrews (60) during the second half of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

It seems like the Patriots’ health situation my finally be starting to turn around.

Wednesday’s practice saw the return of six players – three off of conventional IR and three from the COVID-19 reserve list. Center David Andrews, defensive tackle Beau Allen, and linebacker Josh Uche are all back on the field after battling injuries, while guard Shaq Mason, and defensive linemen Derek Rivers and Byron Cowart returned from COVID IR.

Andrews injured his thumb in the team’s Week 2 loss to Seattle, and despite trying to practice the following week hasn’t played since. His replacement, James Ferentz, was placed on the COVID reserve list last week. Ferentz himself wasn’t at practice on Wednesday.

Allen was one of the Patriots top free agent signings this past spring, but hadn’t yet taken the field with the team due to a pre-training camp leg injury. He could be counted on to play right away after Adam Butler suffered an elbow injury in the loss to Denver.

MORE: Stephon Gilmore talks COVID with Zolak & Bertrand

Uche was a second-round pick by the Patriots back in April. The Michigan product was inactive for the first two games due to a foot injury, and has yet to make his NFL debut. It looks like he’s now fully healthy, and that debut could come soon for a team in desperate need of linebacker depth.

Mason has missed the Patriots last two games – he was a late scratch from the Kansas City loss with a quad injury, then placed on COVID reserve on Saturday before the Broncos game. Like Andrews, his return should help stabilize the offensive line.

Rivers and Cowart, like Allen, will both bring much needed depth to the defensive line. Both missed just one game while on COVID reserve.

While it was mostly good news for the Patriots on Wednesday, there were three players missing from the session. Running back James White, center James Ferentz, and tackle Jermaine Eluemunor. Ferentz is still on COVID reserve and Eluemunor suffered a serious-looking ankle injury during Sunday’s game and did not return. No explanation was given for White’s absence.

The Patriots are scheduled to return to the practice field tomorrow as they continue to prepare for Sunday’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers. If the schedule holds, it will be their first time holding practices on back-to-back days since September.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at