FOXBORO, Mass. — At long last, we have actual Patriots football to talk about.
Wednesday saw local reporters gain their first access to one of New England’s organized team activity practices. The Patriots started OTAs last week but were forced to cancel two recent sessions due to a violation of NFL offseason guidelines, a situation Bill Belichick addressed Wednesday morning.
The practice featured individual and team drills, including 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 sessions. Players weren’t in pads or allowed to engage in live contact.
As for attendance, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, edge rusher Matthew Judon and rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez all were absent, among others. It’s unclear whether players were dealing with injuries or exercising their right to skip the voluntary practices.
Here’s the full absence list for Wednesday’s OTA practice:
— K Nick Folk
— WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
— LB Matthew Judon
— LS Joe Cardona
— CB Christian Gonzalez
— OL Chasen Hines
— OL Mike Onwenu
— OT Trent Brown
— DL Christian Barmore
— DL Davon Godchaux
— DL Lawrence Guy
It’s worth noting that tight end Scotty Washington, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, receiver Kayson Boutte, cornerback Marcus Jones and special teamer Cody Davis all were spotted on the lower practice field. Typically, that indicates some sort of injury/rehab situation.
Reporters will be prevented from attending practices until next Tuesday. New England then will grant access to three minicamp sessions the following week, after which the team will go on summer break.