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Dion Lewis on target to return to action in 2016 for New England Patriots

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pitt running back Dion Lewis had a breakout season of sorts in the NFL this season with the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, an ACL injury in November ended his year and a chance to play in the postseason.

Lewis, however, is getting better. And according to ESPN's New England Patriots reporter, is on track or even ahead of schedule. It all adds up to what should be a return to the field for the start of next year:

Patriots running back Dion Lewis’ recovery from a torn right ACL on Nov. 8 has been encouraging to Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery on Lewis Nov. 18. When Lewis visited Andrews in January for a routine check-in, the feeling was that things were exactly where they should be, if not better. The Patriots still figure to take it slowly with Lewis this offseason and perhaps even into training camp, but at this point, there’s no reason to think Lewis won’t be available for when the games count. The sparkplug rusher/receiver is planning on splitting his time training this offseason between Arizona, Albany and Foxboro.

That's great to hear as Lewis seemed to hit his stride last season. He didn't have a huge year statistically, but was a true offensive weapon for the Patriots and got the most playing time he had in his career, despite playing in only seven games. Lewis had statistical bests in just about every category, including rushing attempts (49), rushing yards (234), and total touchdowns (4). Where he really did some damage was as a receiver, with 36 catches and 388 yards (both also career-highs).

Assuming he stays on track, he will have a real shot to become a key performer for New England's offense in 2016.

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