Patriots running back Dion Lewis, who tore his ACL last November, will need a second knee surgery, according to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). Interestingly, this report came on the heels of a tweet from NESN’s Doug Kyed, who indicated that Lewis had just walked into the team’s locker room with no knee brace. Kyed, however, subsequently deferred to McBride’s report.
Luckily for the Patriots, Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com reports that, although the nature of the procedure is not yet known, it does not involve the ACL or any other ligaments. Depending upon when he has the procedure, it should be about eight to 10 weeks before Lewis can begin training, which means he will begin the season on the PUP list.
Lewis was a key cog of New England’s offense before his ACL tear, rushing 49 times for 234 yards and catching 36 passes for 388 yards. He also scored four total touchdowns, two through the air and two on the ground. After just three games with the club, Lewis signed a team-friendly, two-year extension that gave the diminutive back–who had not played a single regular season snap between 2012 and 2015–some much-needed financial security. He tore his ACL a month later.
It was reported just two weeks ago that Lewis had not suffered a setback in his recovery, and that he was still on track to play Week 1. Now, players like James White and James Develin could see their playing time increase, and while White has been solid in the preseason, Lewis’ injury is still a major blow, particularly in light of Tom Brady‘s suspension.
As if that was not bad enough, McBride also tweets that offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who has been on the PUP list with an undisclosed injury, will be placed on IR. It is unclear whether he will land on season-ending IR, or if he will be given a “Designated to Return” status, though Kyed suspects that Vollmer’s season will indeed be over, since the Patriots could have just kept Vollmer on the PUP list if they expected him to return this year.
Vollmer, when healthy, has been a mainstay at tackle for New England since 2009. However, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Vollmer as the 42nd-best tackle out of 77 qualified players last season, and he was thought to be on the roster bubble earlier this year. His contract is set to expire at the end of the 2016 campaign, and Marcus Cannon will likely serve as the team’s starting right tackle in Vollmer’s absence.
McBride was not done delivering bad news, as he also tweeted that second-year guard Shaq Mason suffered a broken right hand and will be out indefinitely. As Albert Breer of TheMMQB tweets, these injury reports are especially unwelcome for New England, as running back and offensive line are the only two real question marks on the team’s roster.
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