New England Patriots

The Patriots defense could be getting some added help in the lineup ahead of Monday night’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Linebacker Jamie Collins returned to practice on Wednesday, indicating the team has designated him to return from IR.

Collins was originally placed on IR three weeks ago with an ankle injury. Players placed on IR must miss a minimum of three weeks, making Monday night’s game in Buffalo the earliest Collins could return.

Before Collins can play, he has to be officially activated and placed back on the 53-man roster. The Patriots have up to three weeks to make that move. If Collins isn’t activated by then, he’d be ineligible to play for the remainder of the season.

The Patriots signed Collins in early October after he was released by the Detroit Lions. It’s his third stint with the team in his career. In five games in New England this season he’s recorded seven tackles, a sack, and an interception.

There were also two players from the active roster not spotted at practice on Wednesday. Running back J.J. Taylor remains out while on COVID IR. Safety Kyle Dugger also wasn’t spotted, with no reason given for his absence. The next update on Dugger would likely come on Thursday, when the first injury report of the week is released.

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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