Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Shane Vereen and Dan Connolly Injury Updates


New England Patriots backup running back Shane Vereen was out of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans due to a foot injury that he sustained in the preseason, but he has returned to practice, per the Boston Herald.

In Vereen’s absence, Stevan Ridley proved that he is the clear-cut No. 1 back and a possible budding star with a 125-yard outburst. Vereen is an explosive backup who adds another dimension to this team with his hands out of the backfield, so it’s great to see him back to practice after missing practice last week.

The Arizona Cardinals have a solid run defense with a top run stopping safety duo and one of the top young inside linebackers in the game in the recently extended Daryl Washington. However, their linebackers are weak in coverage which is something that both Vereen and Danny Woodhead can exploit.

The Herald also notes that right guard Dan Connolly was the only player absent from practice, and this is likely due to a head injury he sustained against the Titans after playing a solid opening game. He was able to attend the Mayo Bowl, and the Herald also notes that Donald Thomas will likely start in place of Connolly should he miss Sunday’s game against the Cardinals solid defensive line.

Ryan Wendell looked almost flawless in his 2012 season debut, so the center position looks set; he already looks like a significant upgrade above Dan Koppen. As for Connolly, having him would be a blow against a tough DL, as Connolly is a solid guard in every aspect of the game. But Thomas is talented in his own right and has a chance at shining in a regular season game if Connolly’s, who has a history of concussions, injury is serious enough. Any head injury pertaining to him is of concern, so let’s hope things end up being fine for him.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

Tags: Dan Connolly New England Patriots Shane Vereen