The New England Patriots are without starting guards Logan Mankins and Connolly against the Indianapolis Colts.|||||||
Mankins missed Sunday's game with calf and ankle injuries, while Connolly has a back problem.
The Patriots re-signed offensive lineman Dan Connolly on Tuesday, and announced two more free-agent deals, with defensive end Jonathan Fanene and tight end Daniel Fells.|||||||
Connolly, 29, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, and has been with the Patriots since 2007. While with New England, he has started at both guard and center. Last season, Connolly played in 13 regular-season games with 11 starts at center. He also started at center in all three postseason games. Connolly set an NFL record for the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman with a 71-yarder against Green Bay on Dec. 19, 2010.
Connolly missed Wednesday's practice with a concussion three days after his 71-yard kickoff return against Green Bay, believed to be the longest by an NFL offensive lineman.|||||||
According to STATS LLC, it was the longest since 1976, when the league began keeping complete records. Earlier Wednesday, Connolly became the second offensive lineman ever to be honored as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week by the NFL.
The Patriots signed Connolly from their practice squad on Saturday.|||||||
Connolly has played in four career games, all with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005. This season, the 6-foot-4, 313-pound offensive lineman was on the Patriots' active roster for the first five games. He was released Oct. 20 and signed to the team's practice squad two days later.
The Jaguars placed Connolly on injured reserve. Connolly broke his finger during training camp.|||||||