Gerard Warren – Warren is the veteran presence and one of the leaders of the defensive line. He hasn’t taken part in all the drills, but when he does he is usually lined up next to Vince Wilfork. Warren is a run defender only at this point in his career and is used on short yardage and goal line situations. While Warren is popular in the locker room and still productive, he’s not a lock for the roster.
Justin Francis – Francis is probably the most surprising name in this group, but he has been impressive. Francis takes a lot of second team reps, usually rushing from the left side. Francis is more of a power rusher and does a good job of getting his arms extended. He has also fared well in 1 on 1 pass rushing drills.
Where does that leave Andre Carter?
As of right now it doesn’t look like the Patriots are eager to get Andre Carter back in the Patriots uniform. Their depth looks good and with so many players performing he’s not really needed right now. Carter likely won’t be fully healthy until the season starts, so there is little chance he would be practicing even if he was here.
Unless the Patriots face a rash of injuries leading up to the season opener vs. Tennessee, it will be awhile before we see Carter on the field for the Patriots. We all know the kinds of injuries the Patriots have suffered along the defensive line the past two seasons. It’s likely that at some point Carter will get a look from the team.
The best outcome for both sides might be signing Carter to a one year deal, placing him on PUP and allowing him to fully recover. That would give the Patriots up until week 10 to make a decision on Carter. It would provide them with a pass rush boost down the stretch from a fully recovered player. As of right now, I have no reason to believe that the Patriots are even close to bringing Carter back. Only time will tell.