Vince Wilfork's season-ending Achilles injury has re-ignited a question that seems to have come up each week since the start of training camp: Is Armond Armstead, currently on the reserve/non-football illness list, a potential option to help the team this year?
The Patriots had high hopes for Armstead in the offseason, but he ended up requiring surgery for an infection shortly before training camp. He hasn't been heard from since.
Earlier today, the question was asked to Bill Belichick if Armstead, the former USC and Canadian Football League standout who was signed to a three-year free-agent deal on Feb. 1, still has a chance to contribute this year.
"That would be up to our medical staff. We'll just have to see how that goes as the season continues to develop here," Belichick said.
What we know is that Armstead has been attending team and position meetings on a regular basis.
He is eligible to come off the reserve/NFI list after the Patriots' Oct. 13 game against the Saints, and a plan is in place to determine whether he will contribute to the Patriots this year or not.
So the biggest takeaway Tuesday, given some of the mystery surrounding Armstead's condition, is that the possibility of him helping the team in 2013 is still very much on the radar.
In the wake of Wilfork's season-ending injury, that's another layer to consider when mulling options on how the Patriots attempt to fill the void.