We interrupt the all-Jamie-Collins-all-the-time stories that have flooded your timeline over the last 24 hours to update you on a player who was playing as well as any running back in football prior to blowing out his knee against Washington last year: Dion Lewis.
You remember him? Of course you do. His return to the practice field last week had everyone amped about a possible return as soon as this past weekend against Buffalo. It didn’t happen -- wisely, I might add -- but Lewis appears on track to make a return, if not the 13th of November versus Seattle, then surely at San Francisco the following week.
We have very little intel on Lewis, in terms of what he was able to do at practice last week. Media availability is usually limited to stretches, maybe a drill or two. Can Lewis accelerate like he did last year? Can he stop and start on a dime? Is that jump cut still lethal? I asked running backs coach Ivan Fears what he’s seen so far, and what’s fair in terms of expectations.
“That’s always hard to,” said Fears about what he thinks Lewis will be upon his return. “We haven’t seen him that much, let’s be honest. He just started practicing with us and hopefully we’ll see a lot more in the next couple of days here and of course next week.”
Considering Lewis has had two knee surgeries in less than a year, including the setback suffered somewhere between OTA’s and training camp, Fears says the Pats need to be cautious.
“We’ll let Dion sort of tell us where he is,” he said, “but from what I’ve seen of him so far, Dion looks really good, he really does, he really looks good. So I don’t want to say much more than that because until you start going live with real bullets flying around, it’s hard to know what he’s going to do.”
But was the smile on Fears face an indicator that he thinks Lewis may be a lot more like the player he was rather than a meteor that lit up the night sky in 2015 and then crashed to earth, never to be seen again? Considering how good the pint-sized powerhouse was, Pats fans can only hope.