After missing a significant portion of the 2013 season, defensive lineman Tommy Kelly was still working his way back to 100 percent this summer. Phil Perry from CSNNE.com reported on Kelly's full arrival to the practice field.
He was a starter -- and a productive one at that -- for the Patriots through five weeks last season before suffering a season-ending ACL tear, but that doesn't mean he'll be given that spot once again when the calendar flips to September.
And Kelly is well aware.
"This is a very hard team to make," he said, "so if you don’t go out there and put it on the line every day, you ain’t going to be here. Simple as that.”
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound defensive lineman had been a limited participant in training camp practices as he recovered from last year's knee surgery. He participated with a rehab group early and then practiced for two days in shoulder pads and shorts as he got closer to full-contact work.
If Kelly isn't at his best—or even if he is—his roster spot is anything but secure. Dominique Easley, when healthy, will likely line up next to Vince Wilfork. Sealver Siliga and Chris Jones, while inconsistent, flashed talent worthy of playing time in 2013.
With Easley and Wilfork recovering from injuries themselves, though, I think Bill Belichick will likely retain his services for another year.
Kelly: $1.2 million in possible savings