Patriots active running back Dion Lewis off PUP list


Coming back from two knee surgeries, scatback Dion Lewis is an intriguing wildcard for the New England Patriots offense in the second half of the season.

Lewis returned to practice in late October and was activated off the PUP list Saturday for Sunday's showdown with the Seattle Seahawks, per the league's transaction wire.

The question on the minds of Patriots fans is whether Lewis will recapture the ultra-elusive form he flashed early last season before tearing his ACL in early November.

His performance in this week's practices provides plenty of reason for optimism.

Patriots teammates have been "giddy" about Lewis' return, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

"He's nasty in the open field," starting running back LeGarrette Blount told Garafolo. "It doesn't make any sense."

Lewis has been so electric in the open field that Blount described him as an unfair matchup for opposing safeties.

Don't expect Lewis to immediately replace James White as Tom Brady's sidecar in spread-attack formations just yet. Although Garafolo senses that Lewis is making a case to play Sunday night, the expectation is that it would be in a limited role as he's eased back into the backfield rotation.

Last year at this time, Lewis was the first domino to fall as attrition took its toll on the Patriots' aura of invincibility.

Might it be the opposite story this time around?

In addition to Lewis' return, tight end Martellus Bennett is getting over a nagging ankle injury and Julian Edelman is finally rounding into 2015 form after offseason foot surgery.

The NFL's best team is growing stronger in the lead up to Sunday night's Super Bowl XLIX rematch.