The Patriots don't need Dion Lewis right now as their offense is zipping along since Tom Brady's return. With No. 12 under center this season, the Pats are averaging 31.6 points per game.

New England will certainly use a "take your time" approach with Lewis, as even when he went down in August there was the idea that Lewis could provide the Pats with a late-season spark on offense. November and December is the time of year when injuries begin to pile up, so if a LeGarrette Blount or Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski were to go down - Lewis would be there to give the Pats' offense a different, fresh dynamic.

Extremely uncharacteristic of a Bill Belichick-coached team, the Patriots went 2-4 in the regular season after Thanksgiving last year. The Pats averaged 20.5 ppg in the losses and their offense looked stale. Belichick will surely want to avoid that this season and Lewis could provide the perfect change of pace late in the year.

Lewis was basically Shane Vereen on 'roids when healthy for the Patriots last year as he racked up 36 catches and 388 yards receiving out of the backfield in just seven games.

Belichick hinted that Lewis could return to practice this week, but it's highly unlikely that he would play against the Bills this weekend. The Pats have a Week 9 bye, so the most likely scenario is that Lewis returns against the Seahawks on Nov. 13.

"We'll have to talk with our medical and conditioning staff and kind of get a sense of where everybody is and figure that out for when practice starts on Wednesday," Belichick said when asked about Lewis and offensive lineman Tre' Jackson. "We'll take a look at that information and see where we are and then make a decision on it prior to Wednesday's practice."

The Patriots have a 21-day window for Lewis to return to practice. Lewis technically could have returned to practice last week due to the NFL's PUP rules. 

Now is the time to pick up Lewis in fantasy leagues if he's not already owned.