Updated health report for Patriots

August, 12, 2012
8/12/12
3:00
PM ET
With the Patriots set to return to the practice field this evening (5-7 p.m.), here is an updated look at the health of the roster:

Active/PUP: G Logan Mankins (ACL), T Sebastian Vollmer (back), TE Daniel Fells (leg), DL Myron Pryor (shoulder), TE Jake Ballard (ACL)
Analysis: Mankins and Vollmer have been spotted on the practice field rehabbing nearly every session of training camp, leading one to wonder if their return could be near. Injured players have a tendency to return after a day off during training camp, and the Patriots were off on Saturday. Something to watch this evening, perhaps, but no definitive word on when Mankins and Vollmer will be ready. ...As role players, the Patriots could be better suited in keeping Fells and Pryor on PUP through at least the first six weeks of the regular season. But there is no word on if either player is close to returning sooner rather than later.

Active/NFI: T Markus Zusevics (pectoral)
Analysis: No word on how close Zusevics is to a return. The Patriots are very thin at offensive tackle, and the undrafted rookie from Iowa could certainly use some time on the practice field. But even with the injuries at the position, Zusevics' best shot at remaining in Foxboro past final cuts could be staying on the NFI list through at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

Missed Saints preseason game (offense): FB Spencer Larsen (unknown), WR Deion Branch (unknown), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring), T Kyle Hix (arm/shoulder), G Dustin Waldron (unknown), T Matt Kopa (unknown)
Analysis: Of these players, it is possible one or more could return for Sunday's evening's practice. According to the Boston Herald, Kopa suffered a sprained ankle during practice on Aug. 1 and is expected to miss at least a month. In addition, Hix isn't expected to return soon. Branch has been in practice but has not participated in most drills.

Missed Saints preseason game (defense): DT Jonathan Fanene (unknown), DT Ron Brace (unknown), DT Gerard Warren (unknown), LB Tracy White (unknown), LB Brandon Spikes (unknown), CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring)
Analysis: Again, wouldn't be a shocker if one or more of these players returned to practice on Sunday evening. Not much is known about the nature or extent of their injuries, however.

Injured in Saints preseason game: WR Britt Davis (arm/shoulder), LB Dane Fletcher (ACL)
Analysis: According to reports, Fletcher suffered a torn ACL and is expected to miss the season. The Patriots may keep him on the 90-man roster until the 75-man cutdown, when he can be placed on injured reserve without having to clear waivers. Davis left the game on Thursday, and the best guess is that he won't be on the field for Sunday evening's practice.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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