Patriots rookie offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, who slipped to the fifth round of the draft after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, practiced with the team for the first time Tuesday as he continues to make progress in his return to the football field. During his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI on Monday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick hinted at Cannon’s impending return and offered some thoughts on a player that was pegged to go higher in the draft.
“He’s a good athlete,” said Belichick. “He’s definitely been able to do some things here in between some of his treatments and things that he’s done. His strength level, his conditioning, his overall movement skills and all that have been impressive for his size. We’ll see how all that translates to the football field and experience and plays and so forth, if and when that happens. It’s definitely encouraging.
“Most importantly, I hope it happens for him. He’s worked hard. I know it’s important to him. I hope things clear up so he gets that opportunity. We’ll just take it day by day and see how it goes.” Cannon remains on the reserve/non-football injury list and isn’t eligible to play in games until he is added to the 53-man roster. The Patriots now have three weeks from Tuesday (his first practice) to activate him or place him on season-ending injured reserve