Up until this point, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has missed every single Patriots team activity (practice). I think we all assumed it was due to injury, but Ben Volin of the Boston Globe has recently made it official.
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has not been spotted at Patriots practices this offseason and won’t be back on the field until training camp because he is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, a league source told the Globe.
Volin later mentions that Dennard injured his shoulder on December eighth against the Browns, but went on to play in five games following his injury.
It is vital for the Patriots that Dennard completely recovers, because while he probably won’t start anymore, he will still play a key role in this secondary. Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are obviously much better corners than Dennard is, but that is not taking away anything from the former Cornhusker. In fact, if it weren’t for Dennard’s size, I think he could become one of the best cover guys in the entire league.
Since Dennard is so good in coverage, the Pats will need him to provide depth behind Revis and Browner, to ensure that this pass defense will be as good as everybody is making it out to be. Great secondaries require more than two good corners, and with Dennard healthy, that is exactly where the Patriots will excel.