FOXBORO, Mass. — Armond Armstead, for the second straight year, has disappeared from New England Patriots practices.
Hopes were high that the USC and CFL product would be a key third-down contributor for the Patriots in 2013 at defensive tackle, but the team sent out a cryptic email in late July stating that Armstead had surgery to treat an infection. He was placed on the non-football illness list and was spottily seen in the locker room for the rest of the year.
Armstead participated in the first week of organized team activities with the Patriots this offseason, but he was absent for the final two weeks. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Armstead is working hard but when asked when Armstead will be back on the field, he would only say, “we’ll see how it goes.”
“Armond’s really worked hard,” Belichick said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium before Patriots minicamp. “He’s had a lot of adversity personally that he’s had to deal with, unusual compared to most other players. He’s had a great attitude, worked hard. He’s really done everything we’ve asked him to do.”
Armstead dealt with heart issues when he was at USC, but the Patriots would not specify whether his infection was related to his prior health concerns. He had a productive season in 2012 with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, being named a league All-Star.