Wednesday, August 22, 2012
When will Jeff Demps play?
By James Walker
The reigning AFC champion New England Patriots created a major buzz last week by signing Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps. The speedster is yet another weapon for the high-powered Patriots’ offense and special teams.
But when will Demps make his NFL debut? The former Florida tailback missed all of training camp and half the preseason with the Olympics. There's only two exhibition games remaining for Demps to make New England's 53-man roster and show what he can do.
The Patriots have a quick turnaround this week. They played Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles and have a Friday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Demps will get only two practices Wednesday and Thursday. Is that enough for Demps to see his first NFL action?
It's understandable if Demps isn't ready to suit up this week. But if that's the case, Demps will have only one game to prove he can make a difference for the AFC champions. That's a lot of pressure for a guy who spent the entire year training for track and now has to flip the switch back to football.
But speed is what Demps brings to the table. He will have no problem showing that -- at least in practice. Perhaps Demps' roster spot is secure no matter how much he's able to show over the next nine days. Teams are required to cut down to 53 players on Aug. 31.