Two projected starters on the Patriots offensive line aren’t physically ready for the start of training camp.
Left guard Logan Mankins is still rehabbing his torn ACL and won’t be on the field when the Patriots open camp on Thursday. He had surgery to repair the injury after the Super Bowl loss in February and reports varied on when he would be ready to return. He’ll be placed on the active PUP list, according to ESPNBoston.com and other outlets, which means he will count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated at any point before the season. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is also going to be on the sideline when camp gets going because of a back injury.
The Patriots have Nate Solder slotted in to replace the retired Matt Light at left tackle and it would be helpful for cohesiveness if the Pats could get their starting line on the field at the same time as much as possible during camp. Although the Patriots are deep enough to make do with a brief absence from either of their starters, a constant shuffling of bodies along the line isn’t the ideal way to prepare for the regular season.
Mankins and Vollmer will be joined on the PUP list by four teammates. Linebacker Brandon Spikes, defensive tackle Myron Pryor, tight end Daniel Fells and tight end Jake Ballard will also be on the list, with Ballard already ticketed for injured reserve after he suffered a serious knee injury against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Rob Gronkowski, a tight end of a bit more immediate relevance, will not be placed on the PUP list. That should mean his ankle is well enough for him to start practice with the rest of the Patriots later this week.