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Patriots appear to be staying patient with Malcolm Mitchell

Ryan Hannable
January 01, 2018 - 2:39 pm

Second-year receiver Malcolm Mitchell returned to the practice field for the first time since Week 1 last week, as he's been on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Many expected him to be activated for the regular-season finale against the Jets, but he remained on injured reserve, which means he can still practice, but the team has two more weeks to decide whether or not to activate him to the 53-man roster.

Speaking on a conference call Monday morning, Josh McDaniels indicated the team will allow his status to play out.

"It’s always good to get our guys back out there," he said. "I mean, we enjoy coaching them. Malcolm’s a great kid and worked hard and tried to get himself back on the field. I’m happy for him that he’s been able to do that. That process is a long process. There’s a lot of things that will be involved with that, I’m sure, most importantly his health and ability to do the things that we would need him to do on the field. Those decisions are certainly going to be made by Coach Belichick and our medical people. But, it was good to have him out there.

"Not sure what that will lead to, as with every player coming back from some type of an injury or rehab. You’ve just got to let it take its course and do the best you can working with him, and then if and when that time comes when he’s ready and can help us and can contribute, I’m sure that that will happen. But, right now, it’s just good to have him out there and good for him to be there and be coached and work with his guys."

If he's able to return, and even in limited snaps, Mitchell likely would provide a boost to the offense as his chemistry with Tom Brady on routes outside the numbers was fully shown as a rookie last season.

The Patriots will host their divisional round game on Jan. 13.

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