|Bill Belichick: ‘No one has worked harder’ than Logan Mankins||08.13.12 at 9:10 am ET|
FOXBORO — After watching his offensive line have moments of disarray in attempting to protect Tom Brady Thursday night, it must have made Bill Belichick smile when the training staff cleared Logan Mankins for practice Sunday morning.
The four-time Pro Bowl left guard was cleared to rejoin the team on the field and taken off the physically unable to perform list, meaning he will be eligible to start the season, that is if his surgically repaired right knee allows. Mankins will be in shells again on Monday and then, if he feels ready, Mankins will get in full pads on Tuesday and see how the knee responds.
“It’s the same rule for everybody, so two days of shells and then pads,” Belichick said.
All of this is fairly impressive considering he played with a torn ACL in Super Bowl XLVI in the first weekend of February.
“He’s worked hard,” Belichick said. “Nobody has worked harder than Logan. He comes in early, stays late, works hard. We know he’s a really tough, dependable guy and he’s put a lot into it. He’s worked as hard as anybody can.”
Mankins also played the Super Bowl with a sore left knee, an injury suffered when he played left tackle for the first time in his career on Christmas Eve in a win over the Dolphins.
Here are some other notes from Belichick following Sunday evening’s practice.
On this week’s preparations, which includes 1:30-4 p.m. practices Monday through Thursday, Belichick said: “This is a big week, this is a big week. As we know, we have the opportunity with Tampa for a couple days down there before the game and then we have to cut [to] 75. Time is running out for whatever moves anybody is going to make; they have to make them.”
ESPN first reported that the team worked out receiver Plaxico Burress on Sunday. Adam Schefter then reported that the team was not likely to pursue the receiver any further after the physical.
“We work out a lot of players,” Belichick said. “We just try to know who is available out there. We work and talk to a lot of guys, give them physicals and all that. I’m not going to comment on any of them individually.”
Belichick was asked to assess the wide receiving corps that you have in camp to this stage. His response was to try and light a fire under the offense that — except for the opening 97-yard TD second-half drive by Brian Hoyer — was wholly ineffective.
“I’d pretty much say the same thing about them as the whole rest of the offense — when you have 10 punts and two turnovers, we have a long way to go,” he said.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher reportedly suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Thursday. Belichick said there was no update since he said Friday the news on the linebacker “didn’t look very good.”
Inside linebacker Brandon Spikes returned to practice on Sunday after missing Thursday’s game and the previous four practices with an unspecified injury.
“It’s good to see any players that come back on the field,” Belichick said. “It’s always good to see players come back on the field, of course.”
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