Patriots center Dan Koppen played less than one half of football in 2011 thanks ‘to a broken ankle.
Koppen told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald that the ankle is fully healed — “I don’t even feel it anymore” — as the Patriots go through their offseason activities. Koppen seems to appreciate being back at work.
“It’s just tough to sit around and watch it,” Koppen said. “But you’ve got to be mentally strong enough to probably handle that and say, ‘All right, injuries happen, and you’ve just got to move on from that.’ It’s just tough to sit there and watch.”
Koppen may still have some watching to do. Dan Connolly did a good job at center in his absence and Koppen seemed unlikely to return as he made the rounds as a free agent. Nothing developed elsewhere, though, and Koppen signed a two-year deal to stay in New England.
The deal didn’t come with a starting job attached and Connolly’s been called the favorite to hold onto it. Connolly could move to guard if Logan Mankins hits a snag in recovery from his knee injury, but Koppen will have to beat him out otherwise. He’s physically ready to try and the depth will be a good thing for the Patriots either way.