FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots starting inside linebacker Gary Guyton left Sunday afternoon's practice after suffering a left knee injury.
Guyton was dropping back into coverage when he slipped in the middle of the field. He walked to the sideline and received attention from the trainers, who were stretching out his left knee. Teammates Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork walked over to check on the typically-jovial Guyton, who was smiling and laughing with them.
Head coach Bill Belichick also spent a couple of minutes with Guyton, who was lying down receiving attention from the trainers. After, Belichick walked over to speak with linebackers coach Matt Patricia.
Guyton got up and walked around several times in an apparent attempt to stretch out his knee before continuing to work with the trainers. About 15-20 minutes after going down, Guyton walked off the field with a trainer and did not return to practice.
The injury didn?t appear to be serious because Guyton didn?t seem to have too much trouble moving around. There was no media availability after the second practice of the day, which is the norm during training camp.
Here are some other observations from the day's two practices.
Sunday afternoon marked the eighth practice of training camp. Linebacker Thomas Williams missed his first session. Also absent were defensive lineman Ty Warren, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, wide receiver Matthew Slater, outside linebacker Derrick Burgess and left guard Logan Mankins.
Seven other players did not participate in practice but worked out off to the side: right guard Stephen Neal (first missed session), cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (first missed session), defensive linemen Ron Brace and Mike Wright, cornerback Terrence Johnson, safety Bret Lockett and running back Thomas Clayton.
Check here for the attendance from Sunday morning.
Quarterback in Training
Randy Moss got after it again with the crowd. After a pass sailed over his head during the first session, Moss retrieved the ball and jogged over toward the bleachers on the long side of the field. He sought out a young fan in a Tom Brady jersey and tossed the ball to the kid. With the crowd going crazy, Moss called for a pass, and the 3-footer hit Moss with a laser from about 10 yards away. Moss has been one with the fans through the first four days of camp, but this was far and away the best moment of the bunch.
The first two days of camp were mostly about the base defense, and the third day involved a lot of defensive rotations. Sunday, though, got more into sub packages — utilizing an extra defensive back instead of a defensive lineman, for instance. Media policies restrict the exact reporting of these packages, but it's a good sign that the Patriots have been able to advance through the playbook.
With Nick Kaczur out with an injury, Dan Connolly has gotten the majority of the snaps at starting left guard, but the coaching staff seems to like using Connolly more on the right side of the line. Ryan Wendell has emerged as the third-string guard, while Rich Ohrnberger and Ted Larsen are next in line. The versatile Connolly can also play center, which will hurt Ohrnberger's chances of making the team.
Pigskin in a Barrel
It was one of the most basic drills of the day, but it drew the most attention. Brady and Brian Hoyer stood alone with a few assistant coaches on the far field while the rest of the team was going through drills on the near field. The quarterbacks alternated turns dropping back and trying to throw the ball into a barrel 40 yards down the field along the right sideline. Neither potted one, but Brady hit the barrel twice, while Hoyer hit it once. Each took roughly 10 attempts.
Wide receiver Wes Welker wasn?t wearing the red non-contact jersey, but he also didn?t participate in any of the day's 11-on-11 drills, which draw the most contact. It's a clear sign that the team is still operating cautiously with Welker's return, and that?s a good idea with the first regular-season game six weeks away.
Rookie tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have looked very valuable as targets in the passing game, and they each had good practices Sunday afternoon. Gronkowski's size is astoundingly intimidating, and if he learns how to properly use it, he could have a monstrous NFL career. Hernandez is a quicker tight end with good receiving ability, and the tandem will rack up catches if used appropriately.