Patriots

Report: Rex Burkhead (foot) expected to be active for Patriots vs. Browns

Report: Rex Burkhead (foot) expected to be active for Patriots vs. Browns

The New England Patriots are getting a reinforcement ahead of their Week 8 matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, running back Rex Burkhead, who is dealing with a foot injury, is expected to play on Sunday.

As Schefter mentioned, Burkhead hasn't played in any of the latest three games for the Patriots. That said, he only saw very limited action against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4 as he was dealing with the foot injury at that time as well.

So far this season, Burkhead has arguably been the Patriots' best all-around back. He has averaged 4.7 yards per carry and 8.4 yards per reception while totaling 229 yards from scrimmage. He has also converted his only goal-line carry for a touchdown.

Burkhead's presence should eat into the snap count of both Sony Michel and James White while Brandon Bolden could be relegated solely to special teams detail with Burkhead back. In what could be a rain-soaked game, having Burkhead back could be just the spark the team's struggling run game needs.

With Burkhead returning, rookie third-round running back Damien Harris may find himself on the inactives list once again. Harris hasn't had many opportunities to prove himself as a rookie, but he is demonstrating patience as he looks to make it at the NFL level.

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LSU tight end admits to being 'kinda scared' in meeting with Patriots

LSU tight end admits to being 'kinda scared' in meeting with Patriots

The New England Patriots don't fool around.

They are all about winning and will work harder than anyone else to make sure those objectives are met. These elite levels of dedication and preparation are among the reasons why the Patriots have enjoiyed an unprecedented run of success for the last 20 years, which includes six Super Bowl championships.

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This worth ethic was not lost on LSU tight end Stephen Sullivan, who admitted to being "kinda scared" meeting with the Patriots at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week.

Tight end is among the primary needs for the Patriots, and Sullivan is one of the top 10 players at the position in this draft class. 

Sullivan tallied 12 receptions for 130 yards in six games for the undefeated and national champion Tigers last season. He also impressed at the combine by running the second-fastest 40 time of all the tight ends. 

Sullivan's speed and size (6-foot-5 and 248 pounds) make him an intriguing target for teams in need of a tight end. He's likely to be drafted on Day 3, which is when rounds four through seven take place.

He's not the only tight end who the Patriots made an impression on this week. Vanderbilt tight end Jared Pinkney revealed the Patriots said one of his answers in an interview with the team was a "loser's mentality."

Whether it's Sullivan, Pinkney or someone else, it wouldn't be surprising if the Patriots select at least one tight end in April's draft. They need much better offensive production from their tight ends than what they received in the 2019 season.

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Report: Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on injured left ankle

Report: Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on injured left ankle

With only a couple of weeks until the NFL's free agent frenzy begins, the Patriots offense is dealing with even more uncertainty heading into the 2020 season.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu needs surgery on a high ankle sprain that has not healed properly this offseason.

Sanu suffered the injury on a punt return in Week 11 against the Eagles, and even though he was only sidelined for one game, the ankle severely limited his production down the stretch last season.

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After racking up 10 receptions (on 14 targets) for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in Week 10, Sanu only totaled 15 catches (on 33 targets) for 114 yards and no touchdowns over New England's final seven games, including a Wild Card loss to the Titans — not the type of production the Patriots were counting on when they sent a second-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for Sanu.

It remains to be seen if the uncertainty surrounding Sanu affects the team's offseason plans at wide receiver. Right now, only Sanu, Julian Edelman, N'Keal Harry, and Jakobi Meyers are under contract for the 2020 season, with Phillip Dorsett entering free agency and reportedly already attracting outside interest.

Sanu will earn $6.5 million in 2020, the final year of his contract.