Shiancoe back to practice, closer to return

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The Patriots’ plan to go all-tight end, all-the-time is getting closer to reality.

Visanthe Shiancoe, who went on IR-designated for return in Week One, returned to the practice field this week.

I’m excited,” Shiancoe said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I’m excited to get out there, but I’ll be even more excited to play. So I can’t wait for that.”

He’s not eligible to take the field until after the Patriots’ bye week, but practiced in shells yesterday, his first work in any degree of pads since a hamstring injury in July.

The Patriots gave him a $1.2 million deal, including a $400,000 bonus, and would like to get some degree of return on that investment.