A league source has told Shalise Young of the Boston Globe that the Patriots will activate OG Logan Mankins for Sunday's game against the Browns. CB Terrence Wheatley will be released to make room for Mankins.
Mankins, a two-time Pro Bowler, reported to the Patriots on Tuesday to sign his tender after holding out in the hope of getting a long-term contract. It had been anticipated that he would wait to report until after Week 10.
Wheatley, a second-round pick by New England in 2008, has not played this season and has battled injuries.
The way we see it
This is a bit of a surprise, indicating Mankins must be in game shape. The Patriots had been granted a two-game roster exemption for Mankins so they could hold 54 players, but the exemption only held as long as Mankins remained inactive. Mankins passed his conditioning test and practiced this week but hadn't been expected to return to action for another week or two. This is a great sign for the Patriots that he is ready to play, although we wouldn't be surprised if Dan Connolly still started at left guard and Mankins rotated in, especially in goal-line and short-yardage situations when Connolly plays fullback.