Running back Shane Vereen will take on an intensified workload at practice this week in order for the coaches to determine if he's ready to play Monday night against the Panthers.

Vereen has been on short-term injured reserve since breaking his wrist in the season opener, and he is eligible to return to game action this week. It sounds like that is a legitimate possibility as long as he performs well in the next three days.

Vereen returned to practice Oct. 30 and will get eight full sessions under his belt, assuming he participates in the final three this week, before the Panthers trip.

"It's good to have him back on the field," Bill Belichick said this morning. "This will really be an opportunity for us to evaluate this week kind of where he is, give him some harder assignments and see how he's doing.