Patriots Practice Notes: How Will Pats Use Newest Offensive Weapon?

Plus: A closer look at one of the newest Patriots


September 6, 2021

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots have health on their side as they continue preparations for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Every member of the Patriots’ 53-man roster and practice squad was present and in uniform at the start of Monday’s practice, the team’s first of Week 1.

Some notes from this Labor Day practice:

— Running back Brandon Bolden and practice squad defensive back D’Angelo Ross both practiced in red non-contact jerseys. Ross was back on the field after missing practice last Thursday.

— Practice squad tight end Matt LaCosse shed the red jersey he wore last week. Tight end Hunter Henry continued to practice without a red jersey — a positive sign as he works his way back from a shoulder injury that wiped out his preseason.

— All five newcomers who made their Patriots practice debuts after cutdown day were present Monday, including waiver-wire pickup Malcolm Perry.

The Patriots announced Perry’s position as “running back-wide receiver” when they claimed him off waivers from the Dolphins last week. The former Navy quarterback has practiced with the wideouts during the brief portions of practice reporters have been permitted to watch.

“We’ll put him out there and see what it looks like,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday morning. “He’s played offensively and in the kicking game, and we’ll see how he does there and those roles for us. I mean, I don’t really know. We only had him one day on the field, so we’ll take it day by day and see how it progresses.”

After being drafted by the Dolphins in the seventh round last year, Perry said the Patriots showed him more pre-draft interest than any other team. The 24-year-old said he had “quite a few” conversations with Belichick — an avid Navy fan — during the draft process.

Perry primarily played in the slot as a Miami rookie, lining up there on 97 of his 156 offensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He also split wide on 51 snaps, lined up in-line on three snaps and played five snaps at QB.

“At Navy, he really didn’t play the position that he plays now or has played with Miami,” Belichick said. “He played quarterback, he played wingback, didn’t really play receiver, extended, very much. He was kind of more of a wingback. So he wasn’t a running back. He wasn’t a receiver. He’s somewhere in between — played quarterback, didn’t return kicks there. So he’s continuing to, I would say, develop the skills and most of which he didn?t really do in college.”

Perry appeared in nine games last season, catching nine passes for 92 yards and one touchdown and adding three carries for 5 yards and one punt return for 12 yards. This preseason, he caught six passes for 110 yards and returned both punts and kickoffs.

— Kickoff for Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins matchup is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.

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