Monday, October 24, 2011

Patriots RB Faulk eligible to return this week

Running back Kevin Faulk, who is eligible to return to the New England Patriots’ active roster this week after spending nearly 13 months on the physically unable to perform list, will return to practice Tuesday.

The 13-year veteran suffered an ACL injury against the New York Jets early last season. If he doesn’t make the 53-man roster within three weeks, he’ll be forced to miss the rest of the season.

“…obviously Kevin, over the years, has been a huge part of this organization and obviously this offense,” Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien told the media Monday. “We'll go out to practice here starting tomorrow and by the end of the week, make a determination on what the game day roster is.

“Obviously, that's up to Bill [Belichick] and what he decides as far as what we need on game day.”

Faulk, however, has a tough task ahead in winning back a roster spot, as he’ll obviously be behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead on the depth chart, and he will have to prove his veteran presence is important enough to take away playing time from rookies Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.

“He would just add to what that group already has, in my opinion, meaning his intelligence, his experiences, his knowledge of the system,” O’Brien said. “Obviously those are things that Kevin has added for us over the years in all the different roles that he's played. He would just add to the very talented group of guys and smart group of guys.”

Faulk, who was a second-round draft choice in 1999, is 35 years old.

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