Report: Jeff Demps returning to track

By Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff

Jeff Demps, the 2012 US Olympic sprinter the Patriots signed during training camp last year, has told the team that he wants to return to the track — this according to NFL Network.

The report also said that Demps would like to try to participate in both sports, but it certainly means things are up in the air right now for the speedster.

The 5-foot-7-inch, 175-pound Demps was a running back and return specialist at Florida, but stepped away from football after the Gators’ bowl game against Ohio State on Jan. 2, 2012, to focus on track.

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He was named to the pool of sprinters for the US 4×100 meter relay team and went to London, running in one of the preliminary heats. Even though he didn’t run in the medal round, Demps received a silver medal for his contribution.

Demps signed with New England last Aug. 17 and began practicing with the team during its joint training camp practices with the Buccaneers. He was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury two weeks later, never playing a snap in the regular season.

He signed with the Patriots primarily to be a return specialist; they have not had a consistent standout kickoff returner since trading Ellis Hobbs.