Patriots Practice Report: These Injured Players Were Back On Field

Plus: Two new defensive backs arrived


Oct 27, 2021

FOXBORO, Mass. — Some assorted notes and observations from Wednesday’s New England Patriots practice:

— The Patriots have been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks, but they had perfect attendance at their first practice of Los Angeles Chargers week.

Among those present Wednesday were linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who missed Sunday’s win over the New York Jets with elbow and ankle injuries, and tight end Jonnu Smith, safety Devin McCourty, right guard Shaq Mason and defensive tackle Carl Davis, all of whom left Sunday’s game with various ailments.

All of these players were participating during the brief portion of practice that was open to the media. We’ll learn more about their levels of participation when the Patriots release their first injury report of Week 8 later Wednesday afternoon.

— Also participating: cornerback Shaun Wade, who missed the previous three weeks with a concussion. That’s a positive sign for the rookie.

Head coach Bill Belichick said before practice that Wade is “trending in the right direction.”

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

Wade, acquired from the Baltimore Ravens late in the preseason, has yet to play a regular-season NFL snap, sitting out the first four weeks as a healthy scratch. Getting him back would be a boost to the Patriots’ depleted cornerback group. New England lacks depth at that spot after trading Stephon Gilmore and losing Jonathan Jones to a season-ending shoulder injury.

— Speaking of secondary depth, two new defensive backs made their Patriots practice debuts Wednesday, wearing Nos. 34 and 13.

One was veteran Brian Poole, whom the Patriots signed to their practice squad, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Poole has appeared in 78 NFL games with 38 starts across stints with the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. He worked out for the Patriots last week.

The other has yet to be identified. The Patriots entered the day with one open spot on their practice squad and two on their 53-man roster.

— Offensive tackle Trent Brown is eligible to return from injured reserve, but he was not spotted at practice.

— With heavy winds and rain battering much of Eastern Massachusetts, the Patriots practiced indoors for the first time this season.

“It’s pretty hard to do much of anything out there,” Belichick said. “I’d say a little less wind we’d probably be out there, but it’s hard to throw a ball in a hurricane.”

Belichick also noted the Patriots are playing indoors this Sunday. Kickoff for their matchup with the Chargers at SoFi Stadium is set for 4:05 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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