The Patriots were in full pads on their final training camp open to the media. Mike Onwenu made his debut, indicating he’s been taken off the PUP list, and Pierre Strong shed his red non-contact jersey. Demario Douglas once again left for the conditioning field after individual drills before watching the second half of practice. Kody Russey, who’s missed the past several practices, was on the sideline midway through practice in his helmet and shoulder pads but did not participate. Cole Strange watched the latter part of practice in his jersey and shorts.
Marquan McCall was not present after reportedly failing his physical with a knee injury, leaving the Patriots with an open roster spot.
Christian Gonzalez appeared to suffer an ankle injury after giving up a catch to Thyrick Pitts late in practice and went to the trainers table. He walked to the team huddle afterward and didn’t have a noticeable limp. Hunter Henry also seemed to get banged up after landing awkwardly, but didn’t receive attention from the training staff.
Physically Unable to Perform
- ST Cody Davis (knee)
- DL Trey Flowers (unknown)
- OT Calvin Anderson (illness)
Missing/Did Not Participate
- LG Cole Strange (left leg)
- CB Jonathan Jones (unknown)
- IOL Kody Russey (unknown)
- OT Conor McDermott (unknown)
- CB Isaiah Bolden (concussion)
- WR Tyquan Thornton (shoulder)
- WR Demario Douglas (unknown)
Red Non-Contact Jersey (excluding quarterbacks, kickers, and punters)
- TE Mike Gesicki (shoulder)
PASSING ATTACK SOARS IN FINAL PRACTICE OF THE WEEK
Neither Tyquan Thornton nor Demario Douglas has practiced this week, and Kayshon Boutte has taken full advantage. After a strong showing yesterday, Boutte had multiple catches for the second day in a row, including a late touchdown from Mac Jones at the end of a two-minute period. Boutte was also used as a gunner and returned punts, though he muffed one attempt. It’s clear the team is finding reasons to keep Boutte around, and he’s making himself a virtually impossible cut.
Kendrick Bourne continues to ride his own hot hand, catching a pair of deep crossing routes and getting open consistently throughout practice. He may have caught a touchdown during Red Zone work, but I couldn’t see for sure if he was in bounds.
Hunter Henry looked like he would’ve scored after getting wide open on a wheel route off of a switch release.
DeVante Parker had an impressive high-point catch, one of several he’s made during camp, this time beating tight coverage from Myles Bryant in the end zone.
Anthony Firkser had one of the best offensive reps in practice, smoking Jabrill Peppers off the line as the isolated tight end and catching an intermediate out-breaker. He’s flashed throughout camp and could have a niche role in the offense this season as a versatile H-back type.
MATT JUDON LED PASS RUSH PRIMED FOR A DOMINANT SEASON
The Patriots’ offensive line has been talked about ad nauseam but their lack of depth shouldn’t take away from how dominant the pass rush has been throughout camp. Deatrich Wise caught Trent Brown off balance on one rep and bull-rushed him to the ground. Keion White was a full participant and flashed in the backfield several times, while Davon Godchaux and Jabrill Peppers also had impact rushes.
Matt Judon looks primed for another Pro Bowl-caliber season, generating multiple sacks and pressures in today’s session. He highlighted the benefit of the front’s continuity after practice, noting how their versatility can force offenses to keep things simple to avoid their more exotic calls and looks.
Judon was seen working on pass rush moves with Josh Uche after practice, later telling media he believes the young edge rusher is “going to have one heck of a year” and can play on any down.
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS FOR KICKING UNITS
The good news: Bryce Baringer’s bounceback campaign continued, with the rookie putting ungodly distance and hangtime on his punts. If this continues into preseason, he could win the top job outright.
The bad news: Nick Folk missed three of nine field goal attempts one day after Chad Ryland missed each of his first three field goal attempts. I noted in my latest roster projection that Folk could be kept on the roster as insurance for Ryland, particularly in more manageable distances, but the veteran’s shaky performance today didn’t exactly inspire confidence. That said, everyone has bad days and we largely know what Folk is at this point. Hopefully, he can bounce back.
- Ezekiel Elliott was heavily involved again, particularly in scoring territory. He received several handoffs, appeared to get open on a corner route, and caught a short touchdown on a rollout.
- Riley Reiff took a lap for a false start and was replaced by Bill Murray.
- Chasen Hines rotated in for Atonio Mafi at times during Red Zone work.