The New England Patriots are known for taking chances.
They have had success with a few of their projects – running back Corey Dillon was a stud for their 2004 Super Bowl team and wide receiver Randy Moss broke an NFL record with 23 touchdowns in 2007. However, they have had plenty of duds too – defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth never made an impact and was released and wide receiver Chad Ochocino (Johnson) had just 15 catches for 276 yards and one touchdown in 2011.
In the draft earlier this year, the Patriots took another risk – they used the 29th overall pick of the first round to select former Florida Gators’ defensive lineman Dominique Easley. Easley was once looked at as a potential first round pick but tore his right ACL three games into the 2013 season (he had previously torn his left ACL) and had surgery in October.
According to Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald, Easley won’t travel with the team to Virginia when they hold joint practices with the Washington Redskins leading up to each team’s first preseason game Thursday night.
Patriots first-round pick Dominique Easley hasn’t been cleared to begin practicing this week and won’t travel with the team to Richmond today, according to a source.
The defensive tackle, who is on the non-football injury list, continues to rehab his torn ACL, and the team wants his knee to be at full strength to prevent re-injury before putting him on the field. Easley tore the ACL in September and underwent surgery Oct. 25. The Patriots knew the recovery process would likely extend into training camp when they drafted him in May. He took part in the final practice of minicamp, but he has been restricted to conditioning work in training camp.
Easley had 72 career tackles, 18 for loss and 5.5 sacks in his college career.