The New England Patriots got a personnel boost today, and it had nothing to do with the trade deadline. RB Kevin Faulk, DL Ron Brace, and DL Brandon Deaderick were all cleared to practice with the team today. That does not mean that they have been activated off the PUP list, but that they can begin practicing with the team. The Patriots have three weeks from today to decide on whether to activate any of these players and add them to the roster or place them on injured reserve.
Kevin Faulk has already impacted this team, providing leadership behind the scenes in the locker room and working with the young running backs on the roster. If he is activated to the roster, he’ll provide the team with on-field leadership and a reliable third down target for Tom Brady coming out of the backfield. Ron Brace projects to play defensive tackle inside the 4-3 defense and would work into that rotation while Deaderick could play DT or rotate in at defensive end. The Patriots currently have one open roster spot after re-signing CB Phillip Adams, so to activate all three players would mean releasing two players currently on the roster.
We should learn the fate of these three players next week after the bye in preparation for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The off week will provide the coaching staff enough time to prepare these players and see if they are ready to go. You can check out a video of Faulk and Brace discussing their return HERE.