The Patriots' offense has received enormous boosts in the last three weeks with the return of Tom Brady and subsequent return to form of Rob Gronkowski. But it could soon receive another — running back Dion Lewis will reportedly return to practice.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Lewis is expected to be on the practice field this week.
Lewis emerged as a double threat in the first half of last season, performing well whether running the ball or catching it. In the first seven games, he had 234 rushing yards and 388 receiving yards, providing Brady with an extremely versatile option.
Then he tore his ACL. He underwent surgery and the ligament healed, but then he was determined to have a patella stress fracture.
Lewis opened the year on the PUP list. If he is ready to return to the roster by Nov. 9, he will. If not, he will be placed on injured reserve.
As Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England writes, a break-out year by James White — himself proving to be a double threat — has eased the pain of Lewis' absence. White has 92 rushing yards and 244 receiving yards in the first seven games of this season.
The bulk of the running game has fallen on LeGarrette Blount, who has rushed for 566 yards and a league-leading eight touchdowns.
Suffice it to say, the offense has held up and should continue to do so, even if Lewis does not make it back. But considering how much injuries impacted the team last season, the Patriots would certainly welcome back a healthy Lewis.