By Will Stevenson
The New England Patriots are releasing players, some players are injured, other players are stepping up, and all is well with the world. With the troubling news that Dion Lewis’s knee is being re-evaluated and he will miss time, the Patriots will keep the train in motion. As usual as James White will get his opportunity in the Patriots backfield.
Tom Brady will return to practice on Wednesday as he recovers from his sliced thumb that kept him out of last week’s game against the Saints. Jimmy Garoppolo has stepped up in Brady’s absence as he has looked good leading the first team offense. As Week 1 approaches, Garoppolo will continue to familiarize himself with the Patriots playbook as he prepares to take the reins for the first four games until Brady returns.
With the news that Dion Lewis may need surgery on his knee, and Sebastian Vollmer going down at right tackle, the Patriots will continue their running game with James White and Legarrette Blount. Tight End AJ Derby has shown flashes in the receiving game as he caught 6 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. As impressive as his catching was, his blocking was on the opposite end of impressive. If he hopes to earn a roster spot, his blocking must improve.
The offensive line that struggled in the opener kept Garoppolo clean against the Bears. It seems every year the Patriots lose one or two starters on the offensive line and still find ways to mix and match to make it through the season.Josh Kiline took the place of Shaq Mason as he struggled against the Saints. Hopefully with the injury to Vollmer, other offensive lineman will step up and keep Garoppolo and Brady clean for this upcoming season.
For the fans of New England, the just want to see the Patriots players leave the practice and game field in one piece. Every year it’s the same story: “Next Man Up” and “Division Champs”.