New England Patriots‘ offensive lineman is one tough guy. Mankins, a perennial Pro Bowl guard, has had to take snaps at left tackle because of injuries to the Patriots’ normal starting left tackle, Nate Solder.
He’s also fought off an ankle injury – he needed to be helped off of the field in the Patriots 34-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills on December 29.
That victory ensured the Patriots would be the second seed in the AFC East and have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. According to Mankins, the bye was key and helping to heal his injury.
“The bye week was huge,” Mankins told Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. “I’m sure everyone saw me hobbling around. It was nice to get that extra week of treatment in … It’s going [well], it’s improved every day.”
The Patriots, who found out they will be without linebacker Brandon Spikes for the rest of the season, have placed wide receiver Josh Boyce on IR and could be without wide receiver Aaron Dobson on Saturday night when they host the Indianapolis Colts, need all of the help they can get.
The Patriots and Colts will kickoff at 8:15 pm EST Saturday and the game is on CBS.