FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Left tackle Matt Light and running back Kevin Faulk were eligible to practice for the first time Thursday, but they have been held out to this point. From a paperwork standpoint, they are officially on the active/physically unable to perform list, a league source tells ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak.
This means Light and Faulk can start practicing at any time. It also leaves open the remote possibility that both could open the year on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which would sideline them for a minimum of the first six weeks of the season.
It's hard to imagine Light (coming off shoulder surgery) would land on reserve/PUP based on the reported two-year, $12 million contract he received, which included $7 million guaranteed. Quarterback Tom Brady said Friday, "It will be great when Matt gets out there; hopefully that will be soon."
Meanwhile, Faulk is coming back after tearing his ACL in September of 2010. The Patriots are well stocked at running back, and if Faulk needs more time, reserve/PUP would be a way for him to stick with the club without taking up a spot on the 53-man roster. Such a scenario, while purely speculation at this point, would effectively allow the team to buy more time with Faulk and see what the picture looks like six weeks into the season.
"Kevin is an incredible player, person, teammate, friend. He’s one of the greatest running backs I’ve ever played with. He’s everything you look for in a player, so to get him back is huge for this team," Brady said. "His leadership ability, his work ethic – he wants to be out here. He worked so hard to come back from his knee injury, which certainly is not an easy thing to. It’s a tough injury. He works harder than anybody. It will be fun when he gets out here playing with us. I know he’s bored as can be, sitting in there, not being able to do what he really wants to be able do."