FOXBORO, Mass. — Several important New England Patriots players were absent from the team’s latest practice, including their likely starting quarterback.
Cam Newton headlined a lengthy list of players missing from Monday’s fully padded practice, the majority of which was closed to reporters.
It was the first absence of the summer for Newton, who appeared to take a commanding lead over fellow starting QB hopefuls Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in training camp.
Newton was excused from practice, according to reports from Jeff Howe of The Athletic and ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Though Newton has received the majority of quarterback reps since early in camp, head coach Bill Belichick declined Monday morning to officially name a starter.
“When we’re ready to do it,” Belichick said in a pre-practice video conference, “we’ll do it.”
Also absent Monday were running back Damien Harris, center David Andrews, left tackle Isaiah Wynn, defensive tackles Beau Allen and Michael Barnett and cornerback Michael Jackson. Andrews and Wynn are starting offensive linemen. Harris looks poised to play a significant role in New England’s backfield after playing sparingly as a rookie.
Speaking of the Patriots’ backfield, veteran running back Lamar Miller practiced for the first time Monday, indicating he has been removed from the active/physically unable to perform list. Miller, who’s in his first season with the Patriots, is looking to bounce back from a torn ACL that wiped out his 2019 campaign. New England also activated running back Sony Michel off PUP last week.
— Safeties Devin McCourty and Adrian Phillips were limited participants during the brief portion of practice that was open to the media.
— Outside linebacker Chase Winovich returned after missing the previous two sessions.
— Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (shoulder) continued to practice in a red non-contact jersey.
The Patriots must cut their roster from 80 players to 53 by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots