Rex Burkhead (knee) returned to practice Sunday, Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports.
Burkhead is back as part of a New England committee attack that also includes passing-down specialist James White and first-round rookie Sony Michel. Burkhead was effective at times last season, posting the position's 12th-most fantasy points during Weeks 7-15. Burkhead missed six games, however, which limited him to 94 touches for the season. He has never eclipsed 74 carries or 30 receptions in a single season. Burkhead's role could allow him to flirt with flex numbers, but the Patriots' committee attack limits his upside.
Burkhead left practice on Aug. 8 — a day before the preseason opener. He missed the first two preseason games, against Washington and Philadelphia. According to The Athletic, Burkhead is dealing with a slight tear in his knee, but the injury is considered minor.
Burkhead is expected to be ready for the regular season and the fact that he was out at practice on Sunday was a good sign. The running back is expected to lead the backfield this season.
The Patriots held a walkthrough on their practice field behind Gillette Stadium. Running back Sony Michel, linebacker Harvey Langi and offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and Isaiah Wynn were absent. Everyone else, including players like wide receivers Braxton Berrios and Kenny Britt, cornerback Duke Dawson and defensive end Trey Flowers, all of whom didn’t play Thursday night’s preseason game, were present.