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Pats may bring back linebacker Colvin


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Pats take look at Rosevelt Colvin

Ex-linebacker may sign with team today

By Karen Guregian and John Tomase

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 - Added 8h ago

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A familiar face could soon return to Foxboro to give the Patriots [team stats]’ injury-ravaged defense another body - Rosevelt Colvin.

The Patriots worked out the veteran linebacker yesterday and a source close to the former starter believed there was a good chance a deal would be reached.

The Pats have an opening and a need. They placed cornerback Jason Webster on season-ending injured reserve yesterday, creating a spot on the 53-man roster that could be filled by Colvin.


They’re also thin at linebacker following a season-ending injury to Eric Alexander, a broken forearm that may yet end Adalius Thomas’ campaign, and a mouth injury of unknown severity to replacement starter Pierre Woods that knocked him out of Sunday’s 33-10 blowout loss to the Steelers.

Colvin could rejoin the team as soon as today.

The 31-year-old Colvin has been seeking work since being cut by the Texans at the end of training camp. He spent five years with the Patriots from 2003 to 2007 and is intimately familiar with playing outside linebacker in the team’s 3-4 system.

The fact that the Pats would consider signing Colvin now is a reflection of the toll injuries have taken on their defense. The Patriots need help at outside linebacker, where undrafted rookie free agent Gary Guyton has occasionally shifted in relief of Woods.

Add the fact that veteran Mike Vrabel has seen his sack total drop from 12 last year to just three amid concerns he may need offseason shoulder surgery, and inking Colvin makes sense. Colvin recorded 26 sacks with the Patriots.

Speaking before news of Colvin’s tryout broke yesterday, coach Bill Belichick noted that injuries are a fact of life, particularly this late in the season.

“Every team has problems this time of year and we all have to deal with them,” he said.

The Patriots have struggled as a defense for much of the season, but particularly since a string of injuries claimed strong safety Rodney Harrison [stats] and Thomas, among others.

They’ve surrendered 95 points in their last three games and the wear on the front seven was evident Sunday. Playing without starting defensive end Ty Warren [stats] (groin) and saddled with consistently short fields to defend because of five turnovers, the Pats allowed 161 yards on the ground.

Rookie Jerod Mayo, so outstanding for most of the season, may be wearing down, too. Three weeks ago he recorded 20 tackles against the Jets, but he has just 11 since. He has barely left the field all season.

“Everybody has guys that are banged up, guys that are out, guys that are missing and more guys are taking more snaps as a result,” said defensive coordinator Dean Pees. “That’s just the way it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s a concern on all the players, not just Jerod Mayo. It is what it is. You have to deal with it and the players have to deal with it.”

While there’s no telling how much Colvin would play if signed, particularly after sitting out the first three-quarters of the season, he’s at least familiar with setting the edge in the running game, being stout at the point of attack, and getting after the quarterback.

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