Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Vollmer, Woodhead back for Patriots
By Chris Forsberg and Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who missed the season opener and the past three games with a back injury, returned to practice on Wednesday.
Also, Patriots running back Danny Woodhead (ankle) and receiver Julian Edelman (ankle) both returned after missing Sunday's win over the Jets. That increases the likelihood they could play Sunday against the Cowboys.
All three had limited participation on Wednesday.
On the flip side, linebacker Jerod Mayo (MCL), defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) and safety Josh Barrett (hamstring) did not participate in practice, and several other players were limited.
Besides Vollmer, Woodhead and Edelman, those limited included CB Leigh Bodden (thumb), S Sergio Brown (chest), CB Ras-I Dowling (hip), RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), DL Albert Haynesworth (back), TE Aaron Hernandez (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (ribs),
Wright's status bears monitoring, as he had practiced last Thursday and Friday for the first time since sustaining a concussion in the season opener. Wright had missed the final seven games of 2010 with a concussion, and it's possible there has been a setback.
Of all the movement, the return of Vollmer is most notable. The 2010 second-team All-Pro joins Matt Light and first-round pick Nate Solder at offensive tackle. In the one game Vollmer played this season (against the Chargers in Week 2), Solder was bumped to No. 3 on the depth chart and served as a sixth blocker as the Patriots extended the line against a tough group of outside linebackers.
Chris Forsberg covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Mike Rodak is a regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com.