FOXBORO, Mass. — After taking the weekend off, the New England Patriots returned to the field Monday afternoon for their 10th practice of training camp.
Did not participate
RB James White (physically unable to perform list)
OL Andrew Stueber (non-football injury list)
OT Isaiah Wynn
TE Dalton Keene
WR/TE Ty Montgomery
Head coach Bill Belichick said before practice that the Patriots are as healthy as they’ve ever been at this time of year, and that showed on Monday’s absence list. White and Stueber were the only players not present and in pads.
Outside linebacker Matthew Judon, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, safety Jabrill Peppers, linebacker Jahlani Tavai, Keene and sixth-round rookie offensive linemen Chasen Hines all returned, with Hines coming off the NFI list and practicing for the first time.
Tavai wound up missing just one practice after suffering what initially appeared to be a serious leg injury last Thursday.
The Patriots do have one new injury situation worth monitoring, with Wynn leaving the main field shortly after warmups to work on a side rehab field with strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera.
Wynn projects as New England’s starting right tackle after switching over from the left side this offseason. Justin Herron replaced him on the first-team offensive line.
Montgomery, who’s seen a lot of reps in White’s third-down role this summer, participated in the early portion of practice but did not take part in team drills and appeared to leave the field before the two-hour session concluded. The reason for his absence was unclear.
Tight end Devin Asiasi exited toward the locker room midway through practice and did not return. The nature of his injury hasn’t been reported, but it reportedly is not considered serious.
PLAY OF THE DAY
One of the Patriots’ few offensive highlights Monday came courtesy of wide receiver DeVante Parker, who Moss’d slot cornerback Jonathan Jones for a touchdown in 7-on-7 drills.
Those were the kind of highlight-reel catches we saw early in camp from Parker. The trade acquisition had been quiet in team drills of late.
— The No. 1 takeaway from Monday was the ongoing struggles of the Patriots’ offense, which turned in its worst practice of training camp. For a full recap of everything that went wrong for Mac Jones and Co. on Day 10, click here.
— Starting center and co-captain David Andrews spoke to the entire offense for several minutes after practice, delivering what appeared to be a fiery address that didn’t end until well after defensive players had begun their post-practice news conferences.
Andrews declined to reveal what he said in that huddle, but his frustration was clear after another rough day for his unit.
— The arrow next to Tyquan Thornton’s name continues to point upward. The rookie wide receiver delivered two of the most impressive reps in Monday’s 1-on-1s, dashing past Malcolm Butler on a go route and losing Terrance Mitchell with a filthy stop-and-go.
Only one of those resulted in a completion — Brian Hoyer underthrew him on the Butler rep, allowing the veteran corner to recover for a pass breakup — but both were positive moments Thornton. The Mitchell rep showed how he can win with quickness as well as his prodigious straight-line speed.
Hoyer also fed Thornton during a two-minute drill late in practice.
— New England’s offense, which struggled mightily in 11-on-11s, moved the ball well in 7-on-7s. Upping the tempo to simulate a no-huddle approach, Jones went 5-for-5, Hoyer went 4-for-5 and Zappe went 2-for-3, with his incompletion batted at the line by a coach holding a large paddle.
The Patriots have looked significantly more competent in those passing camp-type periods than they have in full-team settings, underscoring their offensive line problems.
— Each of the Patriots’ three quarterbacks tossed an interception in practice. Jalen Mills picked off a Mac Jones pass to Kendrick Bourne, Bailey Zappe threw one to fellow rookie Jack Jones and Hoyer had a red-zone slant to Thornton snatched by safety Joshuah Bledsoe on the final play of practice.
Joejuan Williams also intercepted a Jones pass on the last rep of 1-on-1 drills, forcing the offense to bang out a round of pushups. Parker was the intended target on the play, and Jones threw his hands up in frustration when they failed to connect.
Williams, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Myles Bryant and Kyle Dugger had pass breakups in 1-on-1s.
— This was a tough practice for Bourne. He dropped two passes in 1-on-1s and showed questionable effort on Mills’ INT. The wideout appeared frustrated after that turnover, which came on the first rep after a prolonged break for Mac Jones.
Jonathan Jones nearly made a diving interception three plays later but couldn’t hold on.
— Speaking of Jonathan Jones, the veteran slot corner saw more reps on the outside than he had in any previous camp practice, with Marcus Jones and Bryant rotating inside.
— Defensive lineman LaBryan Ray is making a strong case to become the latest undrafted rookie to crack the Patriots’ Week 1 roster. He’s spent a lot of time in the backfield these last few weeks.
— Matthew Judon and Anfernee Jennings both scored resounding wins over Herron on lineman 1-on-1s.
Herron has played reasonably well at left tackle in his career but traditionally has struggled on the right side, where he was stationed Monday with Wynn out.
— Stevenson dropped a short pass from Hoyer in 11-on-11s.
— With Wynn not participating in team drills, Mike Onwenu saw reps at right tackle with the second O-line. That was a new development, as the Patriots had been using the big Michigan prospect exclusively at right guard.
Onwenu has been better at tackle than guard in his NFL career, though, and the Patriots seem to have some reservations about playing him at the latter this season, rotating him out for Arlington Hambright in the last several practices. As a 350-pound mauler, Onwenu seems better suited for New England’s old gap-based run scheme than the zone-blocking system they’ve rolled out this summer, as the latter typically favors more athletic blockers.
— The Patriots let their scout teams duke it out in a live-contact 11-on-11 period late in practice. It was one of the few times this summer that we’ve seen full, to-the-ground tackling. Linebacker Harvey Langi did a nice job of lassoing rooking running back Kevin Harris on one rep.
— Patriots rookies will receive their position-appropriate jersey numbers ahead of Thursday night’s preseason opener, but that transition has not happened yet. So, a few more days in the 50s for Thornton, Marcus/Jack Jones, etc.
The Patriots will practice once more Tuesday afternoon before welcoming the New York Giants to Gillette Stadium on Thursday.
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