It's been a day full of good injury news for the Patriots. Jerod Mayo, Michael Hoomanawanui, Bryan Stork and Jeremy Gallon all returned to practice. Aaron Dobson and Rob Gronkowski both participated in full pads, including 7 on 7 drills. Newly acquired defensive tackles Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass both passed their physicals and made their practice debuts with their new team.

The final piece of good news comes from their first round draft pick, Dominique Easley. Today marked Easley's first participation in full contact, 11-on-11 drills, merely a week after being activated off the NFI list.

With this development, the Patriots seem to have no further limitations on Easley in his return from ACL surgery. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Easley is almost a full year removed from the injury, which was suffered three weeks into Florida's season last year.

Furthermore, if there was any question about Easley retaining his trademark explosiveness, it seems to be answered by his performance during one-on-one pass rushing drills.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If Easley is even remotely healthy, the Patriots have added an absolute stud to their front seven. It remains to be seen if Easley will make his Patriots debut this Friday against the Panthers, but he appears on track to play earlier than many anticipated when he was drafted back in April.

Ned Brady 8/18/2014 04:06:00 PM Edit

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