There were times when it didn't look like Patriots DE Ron Brace would play this season, let alone be starting by Week Two. The second-year player out of Boston College started training camp on the non-football injury list and missed the first 17 days of practice. He returned to practice on Aug. 15 and recorded a forced fumble against the Falcons and seven tackles, including a sack against the Rams in the preseason. In Week Two against the Jets, Brace started at right end and recorded four tackles opposite DLE Gerard Warren, who picked up two sacks. The fact that Brace is starting is a good sign considering where he came from more than a month ago. The way we hear it, with Brace starting, DE Mike Wright can be used as a jack-of-all-trades lineman or a third-down rusher, and, assuming Brace can continue to stand his ground on the end, that greatly improves a D-line that is missing DE Ty Warren for the season.