Pats to activate Mankins, Wheatley released

A league source said the Patriots will activate guard Logan Mankins for tomorrow’s game with the Browns and to make room the team released cornerback Terrence Wheatley.

New England was given a two-week roster exemption for Mankins after he signed his restricted free-agent tender on Tuesday and returned to the team. However, once the team decided to activate Mankins for a game, a corresponding roster move had to be made.

Mankins has been practicing with the first-team offensive line all week, and it is expected that he will re-assume his starting spot between Matt Light and Dan Koppen on the left side of the offensive line against Cleveland.

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If he does start, it will continue Mankins’ streak of starting every game he has been eligible for, beginning with the first regular-season game of his career in 2005.

Wheatley’s release ends a difficult run for the second-round corner with the Pats — he earned his first start, as a rookie, against the Colts in Nov. 2008 and injured his wrist covering Marvin Harrison in the game. The injury required season-ending surgery, and Wheatley struggled to see the field in the two years since.

Last year, a preseason knee injury cost him the chance to compete for playing time, and this preseason he broke a bone in his foot. He returned to practice just after the Pats’ bye week but did not play until last week against Minnesota.

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