Dion Lewis is one step closer to returning to the New England Patriots offense.
The pass-catching tailback is expected to practice this week, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Lewis has been on the physically-unable to perform list after undergoing a second surgery to clean up his knee in August. The timetable was expected to be roughly 8-to-10 weeks, and Lewis is already nine weeks into his recovery.
The Patriots will have 21 days to evaluate Lewis after his first practice before they must make an official decision about activating him to the 53-man roster or keeping him on the PUP list for the rest of the season.
Lewis tore his ACL nearly a year ago during a breakout season. He rushed for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns while hauling in 36 passes for 388 yards and 2 touchdowns. New England has been just fine in the running department, as LeGarrette Blount ranks sixth in the NFL with 566 rushing yards and is tied for the league lead with 8 touchdowns.
James White has done a tremendous job replacing Lewis in the pass-catching role. White has 27 receptions for 244 yards and is second on the team with 3 receiving touchdowns.
Lewis’ presence only makes New England’s offense more frightening, especially once he gets his legs underneath him. The fourth-year tailback is clearly progressing, which means New England’s offense could get back to full strength very soon.