Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo
Lions cut bait on Van Noy last year. After 11 games with the Pats, New England extends him.2017-9-8 18:41:38
Van Noy, 26, has registered 35 tackles, a sack and an interception since joining the Patriots last season. The Lions traded Van Noy and a seventh-round pick to the Patriots last October in exchange for a sixth-round pick. The linebacker failed to make a major impact with the Lions in his three seasons in Detroit but found a niche in New England.
That allowed the Patriots to deal Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns, a player the team likely wouldn't have re-signed given the other key defensive pieces that required contract extensions this offseason, including Don'ta Hightower.
Van Noy responded by earning a starting gig in New England and performing solidly in the team's run to the Super Bowl.
His presence may be increasingly important if Hightower is forced to miss any time after leaving Thursday night's game in the third quarter with what is reportedly a minor MCL sprain, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
If Hightower misses any time, Van Noy will anchor a very thin linebacker corps. He tallied six tackles in the 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.