FOXBORO, Mass. — Wide receiver Eric Decker wasn’t present for Friday’s New England Patriots training camp practice, and quarterback Tom Brady might as well have been absent, too.
Decker was still on his way to New England on Friday, according to Twitter reports, and Brady got the day off from throwing for his 41st birthday. Brady worked on a pocket presence drill early in practice and ran the hill with the rest of his teammates to close it out. He spent time talking to Patriots owner Robert Kraft during the session. Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, and two of his children, Benny and Vivian, were on hand and spent time with him after practice.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick declined to acknowledge the Decker signing Friday morning before practice. Perhaps Decker will be on the field Saturday morning for practice.
Here’s what went down as Brady stayed on the sideline:
— Running back Sony Michel, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon and guard Jason King were absent from practice.
— Defensive end Trey Flowers walked off the field midway through practice and didn’t return. Center David Andrews met briefly with trainers at the end of practice.
— Players on the physically unable to perform list — cornerbacks Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones and safety Nate Ebner — were present but not in uniform and worked on conditioning on a separate field.
— Wide receiver Kenny Britt, who’s on the PUP list, returned for the beginning of practice in full uniform, but he shed the jersey and left practice early. Cornerback Keion Crossen also was limited, and tight end Rob Gronkowski seemed to get the Brady treatment, sitting out of team drills.
— Running back Mike Gillislee shed his red non-contact jersey and was back in full-contact action.
— The Patriots warmed up to Brady’s game entrance music, Jay Z’s “Public Service Announcement.”
— Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer went 15-of-28 with two interceptions in 11-on-11s with the first team in Brady’s absence. Hoyer was 19-of-34 overall. Rookie QB Danny Etling completed 7-of-15 passes. Both quarterbacks had to take laps for fumbled snaps.
— Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett had a standout rep during 1-on-1s when he shook cornerback Jomal Wiltz. Wideout Cordarrelle Patterson made another one-handed grab late in 11-on-11s with cornerback Ryan Lewis in close coverage. Tight end Will Tye also made a one-handed grab during 7-on-7s from Hoyer.
— Cornerback Jason McCourty and safety Jordan Richards intercepted Hoyer. McCourty’s came when Julian Edelman slipped on the play. Richards jumped a route on an errant pass.
— Safety Eddie Pleasant had two pass breakups. Safety Damarius Travis, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Duke Dawson recorded one pass breakup apiece.
— Tight end Dwayne Allen had two drops in practice. Wide receiver Braxton Berrios had one.
— Defensive end Adrian Clayborn had a standout rep during 1-on-1s against rookie tackle Isaiah Wynn. Clayborn put Wynn on roller skates. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton beat center David Andrews and guard Luke Bowanko during the drill.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Images
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