It’s a good thing the Patriots brought in a ton of wide receivers over the offseason, because injuries are keeping many of New England’s new acquisitions at the position off the field.
Aaron Dobson, Donald Jones, Josh Boyce and Mark Harrison were all on the field but not practicing Wednesday, and Julian Edelman was not spotted again. That means a lot of extra work for Lavelle Hawkins, Kenbrell Thompkins, Danny Amendola, Michael Jenkins, Kamar Aiken and Matthew Slater. Chaz Schilens, who’s in for a workout, is getting plenty of attention as well.
Hawkins and Thompkins have shined for the past two minicamp sessions. That’s not to say that either has a better chance of making the team than anyone else because of what they’re doing in shorts and t-shirts in early June, but they have made some nice grabs. Amendola made the play of the day, though, when he caught a deep pass from Tom Brady over Steve Gregory and Aqib Talib.
With Devin McCourty and Alfonzo Dennard still not participating, Ras-I Dowling, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson and Adrian Wilson are getting some extra work. Adrian Wilson is not only working at safety, but also in a hybrid nickel/linebacker role. Brandon Spikes may be back on the field after missing OTAs, but he’s been playing sparingly out on the field.
Dowling and Adrian Wilson are making the most of their opportunities. Dowling had another impressive pass breakup out on the field. As long as he stays healthy, he could be a defensive contributor this season.
Stevan Ridley was not participating in running back drills. Aaron Hernandez was not sportted, nor were Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman or Nick McDonald. Shane Vereen has been getting plenty of opportunities at running back while Ridley has been out the last two practices.
Tim Tebow got some reps on the near field on Wednesday. He overthrew some balls, but his mechanics continue to look better. He’s not throwing from the hip anymore, which is shortening his motion. It still appears to be taking him a long time to go through his reads.
Brady was 2-for-7 in 11-on-11 drills with one tipped pass going for a pick six to Jerod Mayo. There’s not much to be read from the front seven on defense or offensive line because they players are still without pads and numbers on their jerseys.