Bill Belichick Shares Positive Update On This Patriots Rookie Cornerback

Wade practiced Wednesday for the first time in three weeks

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Shaun Wade has yet to appear in a regular-season game for the New England Patriots, but head coach Bill Belichick has seen positive progress from the rookie cornerback.

In his Wednesday morning news conference, Belichick said the rookie cornerback is “trending in the right direction” as he works his way back from a concussion.

Wade practiced Wednesday for the first time since Oct. 6.

“When he’s ready, he’s ready,” Belichick said before practice.

The Patriots acquired Wade, a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, from the Baltimore Ravens late in the preseason. The Ohio State product played 39 defensive snaps in New England’s exhibition finale but has not appeared in a game since, sitting out Weeks 1 through 4 as a healthy scratch and 5 through 7 with a lingering head injury.

Had Wade not been injured, there’s a good chance he would have made his pro debut in the Patriots’ Week 5 win over the Houston Texans, which they played without starting corner Jalen Mills. New England’s lack of depth at cornerback was evident in the wake of the controversial Stephon Gilmore trade and was exacerbated when top slot corner Jonathan Jones suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last week.

Getting Wade back would give this group a much-needed boost, assuming he’s ready to immediately contribute. The 23-year-old was viewed as a potential first-round prospect before struggling mightily in his final collegiate season. That nosedive coincided with a shift from the slot to outside corner, so Wade could help provide depth in Jones’ usual spot. Recently promoted practice squadder Myles Bryant currently is their top slot option.

New England’s cornerbacks in Sunday’s win over the New York Jets were J.C. Jackson, Mills, Bryant, Joejuan Williams and special teamer Justin Bethel. They’ve added two new corners this week, with veteran Brian Poole and another unidentified defensive back making their Patriots practice debuts Wednesday.

The Patriots signed Poole, a former starter with the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets, to their practice squad, per a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. It’s unclear whether the other new addition joined the P-squad or 53-man roster.

New England is preparing to visit the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) and Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72)
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