Patriots defensive tackle Dominique Easley went a long time without playing full-contact football after tearing his ACL while playing for Florida last September, leaving him feeling like a “lost kid” while he rehabbed before and after getting drafted in the first round.
Easley was feeling a lot less lost on Monday as he took part in 11-on-11 work for the first time as a professional player. Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal reports that Easley played “all over” the defensive line during the session and displayed a “quick burst” off the line during his time on the field.
“It feels real good,” Easley said. “I haven’t done that since last September so it’s just a work in progress. Trying to get better every day.”
Easley said he feels prepared mentally after spending so much time watching film and studying the playbook while waiting to get cleared for a full return to work. With veterans Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly also returning from season-ending injuries, having the younger Easley healthy and available on the defensive line should only add to what looks like a strong defense in New England.