The New England Patriots have not seen RB Dion Lewis on the field yet this year, but he’s now closer than ever to playing in a meaningful game. They hope he’ll be back at practice this week.
Lewis established himself as a terrific option for the Pats, especially in the passing game. He’s not the power runner that LeGarrette Blount is, but he can be an electric player who just finds a way to make plays. Last year, in only seven games before he was hurt, he put up four touchdowns and 622 yards.
Then he tore his ACL. It was November, and his season was done. The Patriots made it to the AFC title game without him, then lost to the Broncos. He had his eye on a return this year, but he had a setback this offseason when a follow-up procedure was needed. He had it done, heading over to IR, but now is hoping to come back roughly a year after he first went down.
This move gives the Patriots three weeks to decide. They can watch him in practice, see how the knee is really doing, and then pick if they want to send him back to IR or if they’d like to put him on the active roster.
If they do activate him, expect them to work him in slowly – like the Chiefs have been doing with RB Jamaal Charles. They still have Blount playing at a high level and they’re getting the yards in the passing game from James White. There’s no rush, and they’d be best off to be careful so he can be 100 percent by the playoffs.