Running back Dion Lewis is getting a knee "cleanup," according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Lewis had surgery to repair a torn ACL back in November, but the procedure apparently required a follow-up. Lewis, who resurrected his career with the Patriots a season ago, is expected to be out for about two months and will start the season on PUP.
But that's not all.
Tackle Sebastian Vollmer has been on the PUP list with a hip injury and is likely to stay there throughout the season, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Vollmer also had offseason shoulder surgery.
In addition to Vollmer, guard Shaq Mason broke his hand. While not as difficult to overcome for an offensive lineman as a lower body injury, the thinning depth across the Patriots' interior offensive line has to be a concern. Bill Belichick has been in the habit for years now of cross-training his offensive lineman, which helps negate some of the issues.
This has been an eventful offseason for the Patriots' training staff, and yet the prevailing thought is that the team will still be good enough to weather the storm. Even if Vollmer isn't New England's designated to return candidate, Marcus Cannon has played much better this preseason and knows the system well.