- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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News came last night that New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington will undergo groin surgery this Friday, and it served as a reminder that one of the most critical components of the offseason is for players to get back to 100 percent.
With that in mind, below is a brief overview of some of the major injuries to monitor this offseason among Patriots that remain under contract through at least the 2014 season:
Tight end Rob Gronkowski. The burly tight end tore his ACL in a matchup against the Browns, undergoing surgery in early January. The timeframe for recovery from such an injury varies by the patient, but a rough estimate is eight months. As of now, Gronkowski's status for the start of next season is not yet known.
Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. A torn Achilles' tendon shut down Wilfork after just four games, but if such a thing as a silver-lining exists in the situation, it's that the injury happened early enough in the season to provide him ample recovery time. He was spotted on the sidelines during the season moving around and walking, and it seems reasonable to expect he'll be ready for training camp.
Linebacker Jerod Mayo. Mayo tore his pectoral muscle early in the season, missing the final 10 regular season games. Like Wilfork, it seems reasonable to expect Mayo back on the field for training camp.
Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer. The standout right tackle had his season cut in half due to a broken leg. His return would help to re-solidify the offensive line, which will now be coached by Dave DeGuglielmo.
Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. Kelly joined Wilfork on injured reserve after injuring his knee against the Bengals in what turned out to be a torn ACL. With extensive time to recover, a return for training camp would also seem likely.
Wide receiver Danny Amendola. After injuring his groin in Week 1, Amendola battled the severely painful injury throughout the season. While he didn't meet production-based expectations in 2013, the pain he played through should not be overlooked.
Defensive tackle Armond Armstead. The intriguing young defensive tackle underwent surgery to repair an infection just before training camp, causing him to miss the full season. He remains a little bit of an unknown to this point, but, if healthy, could be a contributor along the defensive front.
The list above highlights only some of the major injuries that impacted the Patriots this season, as the team deals with an incredible number of games lost due to health issues. There also may be other injury issues that appear in the offseason that we are not currently aware of.
As the team is not required to release injury information during the offseason, there's only so much we know about the various injuries. If any information does come along, we'll be sure to pass it along.
For now, this list shows injuries to keep an eye on this offseason.
4hBy Ian O'Connor