The middle of the Patriots’ defensive line got torn apart by injuries last season, but it looks like things are shaping up for New England to have both of their veteran defensive tackles back in the lineup this year.
We already knew that Vince Wilfork was doing well enough to shimmy his way through preparing ribs for a family meal and Tuesday brought good news on the Tommy Kelly front as well. Kelly and Wilfork took part in some 11-on-11 drills during Tuesday’s practice at the Patriots minicamp, the first time they have worked together since Wilfork tore his Achilles in late September. Kelly went down the next week with a torn ACL, but says that he’s not worried about his knee after months of rehab and also has little concern about Wilfork’s ability to bounce back this year.
“Pretty much what I know of V, I think V is going to be all right,” Kelly said, via the Boston Herald. “He’s a very hard worker and he’s the type of person that once he commits his mind to something, he’s going to get it done. I don’t think we should worry too much about him. He’s going to be OK.”
With first-round pick Dominique Easley also available at the position, the Patriots should not experience a recurrence of their issues on the interior of the line as long as everyone stays healthy. That’s a big if given their injury histories and the age of Kelly and Wilfork, but all is looking well so far in New England.