Patriots activate Mankins, cut Wheatley

The New England Patriots apparently liked what they saw out of Logan Mankins, estranged from the organization until signing his tender and reporting for work Tuesday.

The Patriots activated Mankins on Saturday and dumped cornerback Terrence Wheatley, a second-round draft choice in 2008. They also lopped linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, a 2009 third-round pick, from the practice squad.

Boston Globe reporter Shalise Manza Young writes Mankins is expected to start Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. Dan Connolly started at left guard in each of the seven games Mankins missed.

Wheatley didn't play a game this year after suffering a foot injury in training camp.

Wheatley's release is another mark on New England's 2008 draft class. While the Patriots found a rookie of the year when they took Jerod Mayo 10th overall, they've released their next three picks: Wheatley (62nd overall), linebacker Shawn Crable (78th overall), quarterback Kevin O'Connell (94th overall).

McKenzie tore a knee ligament in rookie camp last year and missed his entire first season. He cleared waivers in training camp and was placed on the taxi squad.