Patriots Joint Practice Observations: Injuries Mounting Before Preseason Opener


FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars took it very easy in their final joint practice before Thursday’s preseason opener.

The Patriots and Jaguars held a two-hour walkthrough at the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. Here’s everything we observed.

— Wide receiver Matthew Slater, cornerback Eric Rowe, linebacker Shea McClellin and tight end Matt Lengel were absent.

— Linebacker Trevor Bates and offensive tackle Antonio Garcia returned to the field after missing Tuesday’s practice.

— Offensive tackle Nate Solder, safety David Jones, tight end James O’Shaughnessy, wide receiver Cody Hollister and running back Mike Gillislee were limited and worked on a lower practice field.

— Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (physically unable to perform list), defensive tackle Alan Branch (PUP list) and offensive tackle Andrew Jelks (non-football injury list) were present in sweats but worked on the lower field.

— Garcia left practice midway through and didn’t participate in full-team walkthroughs. Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine and wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola also didn’t participate but weren’t on the lower field.

— Don’t expect to see Slater, McClellin, Rowe, Lengel, Valentine, Gillislee, Solder, Jones, Hollister, O’Shaughnessy, Garcia, Hightower, Jelks or Branch play in Thursday’s game. Amendola, Mitchell and tight end Rob Gronkowski also likely won’t play.

— Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who is holding a retirement ceremony Wednesday, was present for practice.

— Expect to see undrafted rookie defensive tackle Adam Butler and 2017 draft picks Deatrich Wise and Derek Rivers receive a lot of defensive snaps early in Thursday’s game. Rivers has been playing all over the defense in McClellin’s absence.

— It seems the Patriots will give offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle the chance to unseat Cameron Fleming as the team’s top swing tackle. He was playing a lot of left tackle in Solder’s absence.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images

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