BOSTON (CBS) — Dion Lewis is eligible to return to the Patriots’ active roster as soon as this week. While it’s been difficult for reporters to lock down exactly when Lewis might come off the physically unable to perform list, the running back’s electric plays last year have folks buzzing with anticipation for a repeat performance in 2016.

Boston Herald Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe joined Toucher & Rich on Tuesday and said that maybe those expectations should be held in check a bit, as Lewis suffered the torn knee just 11 months ago and underwent multiple surgeries to repair the damage.

“I think you’ve got to be reserved with your expectations for Lewis this season. I believed that before we even found out about the second surgery, just because a torn ACL in November is really difficult — unless you’re Adrian Peterson — to come back from and be successful the following season,” Howe said. “So he’s going to lose a little burst. And especially with a player of Lewis’ talent, where the agility, the quickness and the foot speed are the best assets that he has in terms of his game.”

And even when Lewis is fully back, he shouldn’t be expected to be a central part of the offense. He averaged seven rushes and five receptions per game last year before getting hurt. When he does get the ball, he may still be an effective player, but it would be unfair to place overly high expectations on him.

“Now you’re talking about two knee surgeries since last November, and it’s just hard for me to expect Dion Lewis to come in here and look the way he did for the first two months of last season,” Howe said. “Because history suggests it’s just not realistic.”

Howe also discussed the potency of the Patriots’ defense, the dirty play of Vontaze Burfict, and more. Listen below:


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