That was the single word from coach Bill O’Brien on whether his starting right tackle Derek Newton has a chance to play week one against the Chicago Bears. Newton has been out since the beginning of training camp when he hurt his hamstring on the first day of practice, forcing Kendall Lamm to take most of the work at right tackle.
Newton has started 48 straight games on the offensive line, which is currently the longest streak. The hand picked right tackle of O’Brien when he arrived in 2013, Newton is set to get back on the practice field this week to get ready for the start of the season.
“I think Derek Newton is doing better," said O’Brien on Newton's status. “I think he’s made a lot of progress. I think he’ll be able to move around this week. Whether we play him against Dallas, that’s to be determined. But, I do think he can do some things out on the practice field this week.”
Getting Newton on the practice field is the biggest factor for the offense and a line that needs some stability after a rash of injuries. Newton will have to work back into playing shape, which is already a slight concern for O’Brien on his right tackle.
“A lot of these guys have been out for a while, including (Derek) Newton," explained O’Brien. “You can’t just put them right back in there to play 75 plays a game, so we’ll have to look at that from a conditioning standpoint and all those different things.”
The fact Newton could be coming back is some of the more positive news for a team looking for some help at the position.