Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel was back in uniform and on the practice field
Tuesday. After missing nearly ten days of training camp, Vrable was back out
on the field with his teammates this afternoon. By all accounts he hadn't missed
a beat, but in reality he had, 17 of them. That's how many practice sessions
Vrabel hasn't' been on the field until today. Even with the time missed, the
team's sack leader from 2007 felt it was good to be back.
"Feels good real good," said Vrabel. "Start getting a little
work in like today and it's going to be a big plus for me."
What kept him out of camp?
"Old age," Vrabel said with a smirk. "I was just trying to
get some rest. Get back healthy."
Vrable wouldn't tell reporters if he was going to play on Thursday, but health
shouldn't be an issue according to the linebacker.
With Vrabel out of the lineup in camp, third year player Pierre Woods has seen
more action. Woods signed with the Patriots in 2006 as an undrafted rookie out
of Michigan. Since making the roster his rookie season, he has seen more time
on special teams than on defense.
Vrabel's return to the active roster leaves just four players on the PUP list:
Jarvis Green, Stephen Neal, Oliver Ross and Mike Wright.
Focus On Welbourne
John Welbourne joined the Patriots on Monday afternoon, participating in the
team's practices hi first day on the job. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound free agent
lineman spent the past three seasons in Kansas City filling in where needed.
His versatility is one thing that the Patriots saw in the former Chief.
John is an experienced player in this league," said Patriots head coach
Bill Belichick. "He is a tough guy and has played both guard spots. He
mainly played the left spot in Philly and played more right last year. He also
has some experience at the tackle position."
Belichick stopped short of saying Welbourne would play on Thursday, even though
the team is a bit thin on the offensive line.
"We will put him into the mix with everybody else. I am not sure how much
he will be ready for on Thursday. We will just have to see."
Monday Night the Patriots held practice inside Gillette Stadium which was open
to season ticket holders and Foxborough residents. The team worked on a number
of aspects to improve technique including 11-on-11 work, and a variety of position
drills. Tom Brady and Randy Moss were back at practice after missing in action
the previous practice session earlier in the day.
Rookie cornerback Jonathan Wilhite apparently suffered a minor leg injury in
the night practice and was absent from the field on Tuesday.
Ravens On Tap
The Baltimore Ravens come to town on Thursday for the preseason opener at Gillette.
Both teams met in week 13 last season with New England scoring late to come
from behind for a 27-24 victory.
Controversy arose when the Patriots trailed late in the game and went for it
on fourth down. An inopportune time out by the Ravens coaching staff prevent
a 1-yard loss from being recorded. A false start prevented another negative
play. on the third attempt, Tom Brady scrambled for a first down to continue
a last gasp drive. A few plays later, Brady found Jabar Gaffney who made a fingertip
catch for the game's final score.