Good news on the Armond Armstead front: The second-year defensive tackle is on track to be ready for April 21, when the Patriots begin their offseason workout program.
Armond Armstead/Mark Harrison’s Seasons are over for Patriots

Per Jeff Howe’s tweets below, it looks like it’s now official, no Armond Armstead or Mark Harrison this year. 

On Harrison it’s probably good to give him a red shirt year. He was never healthy coming into camp and as we all know it takes time for receivers to pick up the system. He’ll be one to watch in camp as no other receiver has his size and speed on the roster.

Armstead is a real disappointment and no one seems to know what happened. Most were penciling him in as the top sub-rusher next to Wilfork this season, and everything looked okay until he suddenly was put on the PUP for what was called an “infection”.

How did he get the infection? Was it related to his heart issues that caused him to miss time in college? Nobody seems to know. 

It’s even more disappointing because after the injuries to Wilfork and Kelly, the Pats really could’ve used some reinforcements along the defensive line. Hopefully the real story comes out eventually. It’s probably more likely to now that his season is over. 

So yeah, more bad news. Anyone getting used to this yet?

During a conference call Monday, Belichick said that it “looks less likely with each day that goes by” that Armstead returns and noted that the defensive tackle is running out of time.

Bill Belichick says Armond Armstead return looks ‘less likely’ with each passing day | masslive.com

Yet another buzz kill in a season filled with them so far. I try to never look ahead, but it will be nice to get all these guys back and healthy next summer. There will be a lot to be excited about. Now it’s just a matter of putting together as many wins as possible and giving it everything they’ve got over the next two-and-a-half months.

His teammates say that Armstead has been present in the meetings and is doing his best to keep up in the classroom. “He’s just trying to pick up the stuff and learn,” defensive tackle Joe Vellano said. “I don’t know where he’s at (health wise). That’s something for coach (Bill) Belichick. “Without a doubt he knows his stuff. Tries to keep up on stuff.
The Patriots signed him this off-season and the 6’5, 305 is thought to be more of a pass rush specialist than run-stuffer with his tall frame. Armstead has the body of a 3-4 DE playing the 5-technique but could kick inside and help out at tackle. If he is able to play he could provide a versatile role on the Patriots defense.

Armstead Could Help Patriots Issues At Tackle Soon :Pats Pub

Really hope we see Armstead next week…

The status of rookie defensive lineman Armond Armstead will continue to come into focus in the wake of Wilfork’s injury. Armstead is on the non-football illness list because of an infection that was discovered during the offseason, and he is eligible to return to practice as early as Week 7. It’s still unclear if Armstead will be ready that early, but there is optimism regarding his progress, and the belief exists that he will be able to contribute in 2013.
Armstead started 17 games for USC over his first three seasons, then sat out his senior season because of heart problems. All 32 teams were scared away by Armstead’s medical issues, so he went up to the CFL to prove himself, and ended up a CFL All-Star with 6.0 sacks and 43 tackles for the Toronto Argonauts. He’s raw but powerful, with long arms and a high motor.

Patriots on ‘breakout’ prospect list - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

Armstead going on PUP due to “non-football illness” is certainly a bit of a buzz kill for most of us who were simply penciling him in as the top interior pass rushers in the sub defense. Will be interesting to see if this is related to the heart attack he had at USC, and how long it might affect him.

Good stuff from Frenz on my favorite topic…

In 2010 (Wright’s last year, with just 320 defensive snaps), the Patriots leaned on 543 snaps from defensive tackle Gerard Warren, along with a rotation of Ron Brace (285 snaps), Brandon Deaderick (258) and Myron Pryor (242).

In 2011, Vince Wilfork played 1,173 snaps and Kyle Love played 696 snaps. Shaun Ellis was largely ineffective in 421 snaps, and Deaderick saw his snap total rise to 383. Gerard Warren (371) continued to contribute, as well. Albert Haynesworth (134) was released after eight games.

In 2012, Wilfork (1,041) and Love (591) once again carried a significant load. The Patriots utilized defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (487) as an interior pass-rusher in some nickel packages. Deaderick (467) once again saw his snap total increase. Defensive ends Justin Francis (301) and Trevor Scott (289) were the only other defensive linemen to carry a significant workload in 2012.

The question is what position will he play? The answer is he might play several, especially under the coaching of Bill Belichick. Given his dimensions, Armstead probably is best suited to be a five technique defensive end. But the personnel men I surveyed for this story also mentioned the following possibilities: three technique, nose tackle, and nickel rusher/outside linebacker in a 3-4. “You have to imagine him to project him,” one of the front office men said. “He’s a talent. You get him now and worry about what position he plays later. He can be so versatile because he is quick off the snap. He’s a jack of all trades.”

Scout Talk | National Football Post

Okay color me officially hot and bothered about Armond Armstead. From everything I’ve read and posted about it him it’s clear he *could be* exactly what this defense needs, and exactly what I’ve been preaching about for two-plus years.