New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen will have to wait until the Patriots Week 11 game against the Carolina Panthers to return from the short-term injured reserve, as players on the designated-to-return I.R. are not eligible to come back until Week 10, which is when the Patriots have their bye week. Vereen broke a bone in his wrist before the first game of the season during pre-game workouts, but he played through the pain and put up an incredible 159 yards from scrimmage. The Patriots decided to place him on the short-term I.R., and he is drawing closer to a return.
Vereen shed his hard cast last week, and the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reports that the 24-year-old Cal product does not have a “noticeable” brace on his right hand. He is also “on his way to work out”, which is terrific news for Patriots fans. Head coach Bill Belichick called Vereen “day-to-day” to return to practice yesterday, and this report from Howe affirms that Vereen is very close to getting back to the practice field.
It’s unclear as to whether or not “working out” equates to official “practice”, but what is clear to me is that Shane Vereen will be back upon eligibility in Week 11. I would be shocked if Vereen is out for longer, and his return would be huge for the Patriots offense. His ability to be a movable chess piece in the passing game and explode for big plays make him a valuable member of the Patriots offensive attack, and it is so difficult for some defenses to scheme and contain him.