Patriots' Chase Winovich Underwent Hernia Surgery, Rehabbing Injury at Home

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

New England Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

New England Patriots edge-rusher Chase Winovich underwent hernia surgery in February, according to Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe.

Winovich told Grossfeld he has been rehabbing the injury at home by doing yoga, lifting weights, canoeing, riding an exercise bike and executing various other exercises.

Rehab has been much different for Winovich and other injured NFL players this offseason since the coronavirus pandemic has prevented teams from opening their facilities and allowing players to go in for treatment.

New England selected Winovich in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft out of Michigan, and he made an instant impact on arguably the best defense in the league.

While Winovich didn't start any games, he appeared in all 16 and finished with 26 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits. Winovich tied for fourth on the team in sacks and will likely be an even bigger factor in that department in 2020.

The Patriots' two leading sack artists from 2019, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy, left in free agency, so Winovich is the top returning player in terms of sacks aside from defensive tackle Adam Butler.

New England will have a revamped front seven this season. While there is little star power on paper, head coach Bill Belichick's defense always seems to get the job done regardless of how much talent it loses.

Winovich will likely need to take a big step forward in order for the Patriots to compete for an AFC East crown after losing quarterback Tom Brady in free agency. A dominant defense could keep New England in the running even though the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets all made marked improvements.

The Pats drafted some front-seven talent in the form of second-round pick Josh Uche and third-rounder Anfernee Jennings, both outside linebackers, but it is difficult to say how much they will contribute as rookies given current restrictions around the pandemic.

If COVID-19 leads to the significant shortening or elimination of the Patriots' offseason program and training camp, then there will be extra emphasis on Winovich and the Pats' other returning players to lead the way in 2020.