Patriots RB Dion Lewis hard on himself for dropped pass in return to practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis had an easy excuse to fall back on for a miscue he made early in Monday's voluntary organized team activities. In a reflection of how he holds himself to a higher standard, he didn't take it.

Lewis had come in motion from left to right before releasing into a pass route, then about 5 yards past the line of scrimmage he planted his left foot into the ground to cut across the middle of the field. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's pass was accurate in leading Lewis, who dropped it.

Lewis' reaction said it all -- an audible sound of frustration as he clapped his hands together.

"I should have caught the ball. I definitely should have caught the ball," he said, recapping the moment of practice. "Just getting back in the swing of things -- I have to get used to catching from quarterbacks and stuff like that. I still have a lot of time and a lot of work to do to be where I know I can be."

Lewis practiced for the first time Monday since undergoing surgery on his torn left ACL in November. He said that when he took his first cut "it was a little scary," but he feels that every day has led him to become stronger. He deflected a question on whether he'll be ready for the Sept. 11 season opener, but barring an unexpected setback, that seems like a strong possibility.

There was a light moment early in practice as Lewis went through warm-ups with his fellow running backs, and his position coach Ivan Fears noted his presence with humor.

After practice, Lewis smiled when asked about Fears' humor.

"It was funny. He's always on me, he's always on everybody, but he definitely makes the beginning part of practice fun," Lewis said.