Postcard from Patriots camp, Day 14: Last practice look for fans
A final postcard from 2018 Patriots camp
FOXBORO -- Tuesday was the final day for fans to visit Gillette Stadium and take in a Patriots training camp practice. It was mostly sunny with the occasional cloud to cool things off.
Outside of an injury to Phillip Dorsett, which we'll detail below, it was a relatively straightforward session. Here's what we saw...
Matthew Slater, Sony Michel, Marcus Cannon, Harvey Langi and Rex Burkhead were not spotted. Kenny Britt, Ryan Lewis, Trey Flowers and Duke Dawson were present but not full participants. Cordarrelle Patterson (pictured) returned to team periods after being limited recently.
A handful of Bruins, including Ryan Donato and Charlie McAvoy, were in attendance as special guests of the team.
DORSETT'S END TO PRACTICE
Dorsett went down late in the practice following an 11-on-11 rep when he ran a route over the middle of the field. After hitting the turf -- I didn't see if he was hit or if he went down on his own -- a defensive player immediately called for help. Dorsett was eventually helped off the field by two staffers and made his way directly to the blue medical tent parked on the back of the practice fields. When he emerged, he got a hug from team chaplain/character coach Jack Easterby. Nick Caserio later came by to give Dorsett a pat on the back. After a few moments, Dorsett put his helmet back on and caught passes from an equipment assistant. He did not leave the field until the session was finished, walking off on his own.
He gave a thumbs up as he made his way down the stairs toward the stadium and got into a cart that took him into the tunnel. Moments later, Dorsett was back on the field, spending time in the friends and family area before going back down the stairs to the stadium a second time.
The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported that Dorsett will likely be back at practice tomorrow after the injury scare.
The Patriots - who've been without Kenny Britt, parted ways with Malcolm Mitchell and Jordan Matthews and been without Cordarrelle Patterson and Matthew Slater in portions of camp -- can ill afford to lose another wideout. Dorsett had a strong start to camp, which Tom Brady noted following Tuesday's work, and looked like the No. 2 receiver behind Chris Hogan for the first month of the season with Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games.
In Dorsett's absence, Hogan, Riley McCarron and Eric Decker seemed to see a bump in repetitions. Hogan was tired enough after practice that he hopped on the same cart Dorsett rode for a lift into the locker room area.
Brady's first pass in the red zone was broken up by Jason McCourty, but the offense bounced back with a touchdown pass to a diving Jacob Hollister in the back of the end zone and another easy score for Hollister (pictured) on the next play. Brady's next two throws were complete to Chris Hogan and Gronkowski. His final pass bounced away incomplete to Gronkowski.
Tom Brady missed on his first two throws of the practice, spiking a screen attempt into the ground, then having a pass to Eric Decker over the middle broken up by Duron Harmon. He broke the streak on a seam route to Dwayne Allen for a good gain.
Brian Hoyer hit on his first throw of the session to Julian Edelman. His second throw was attempted to Rob Gronkowski on a hot route when Hoyer saw Harmon coming at him on a safety blitz. Ja'Whaun Bentley was in good position on Gronkowski and broke up the pass.
Later in the practice, with sound, Hoyer missed a throw to Dwayne Allen, but it wasn't Hoyer's fault. Allen gave up on the play, apparently suffering from a physical ailment. The tight end immediately checked out of the drill, and Hoyer hit on his next throw to Will Tye. Hoyer's third throw was sent to Devin Lucien and broken up by Eric Rowe. That play would've been a sack, though. Hoyer held on for an eternity. Another red zone throw landed incomplete to . . . no one.
Brady hit James White later in an 11-on-11 period and followed that up with a long completion up the sideline to Dorsett. One play was postponed because Trent Brown jumped. He was replaced by Matt Tobin. Brady completed the pass, with fine blocking on his blind side, to Chris Hogan. His next throw of the period went to White. A bomb to Dorsett was dropped and a short dart to Edelman was also dropped. Not a great end to the period.
With sound on again, Hoyer hit a throw to White. He hit on seven of his next nine passes, which would qualify as one of his more consistent runs of camp.
Brady went incomplete to Hogan deep as Hogan and Jason McCourty tangled arms down the field. He completed his next pass and then hit another to Chris Hogan. He completed four of his previous six attempts, including a picture-perfect throw to Hogan down the field.
Hoyer went incomplete for Lucien after a pass breakup by Jackson. He then hit Dorsett on another throw. His next was broken up, but likely would've been a flag on Damarius Travis on Jacob Hollister. His next throw was targeted for Decker and went incomplete. Another throw to Decker -- he's getting a lot of work with Dorsett out -- went for a touchdown.
Brady went 16-for-26 in the practice in 11-on-11 work, while Hoyer hit 16-for-25 on his reps.
The offense had itself a day during one-on-ones fought in the trenches. I counted just three clear wins for the defense out of 18 reps recorded: Lawrence Guy (pictured) got by Shaq Mason, Malcom Brown beat Joe Thuney late, and Vincent Valentine got the best of David Andrews.
However, Andrews won his rep against Danny Shelton, Thuney beat up on Brown earlier in the period, LaAdrian Waddle stoned Derek Rivers, Matt Tobin handled Deatrich Wise, and Brian Schwenke had one of the most dominant reps of camp when he put Valentine on the ground. Luke Bowanko (on Adam Butler), James Ferentz (on Frank Herron), Cole Croston (on Kyle Van Noy), Ted Karras (on John Atkins), Trent Brown (on Eric Lee) and Mason (on Wise) also had wins.
Isaiah Wynn and Keionta Davis seemed to come to a draw during their rep, as did Ferentz and Herron later.
* Dorsett, Edelman, Hogan and Devin Lucien all had drops on Tuesday, continuing a trend that seemed to begin the day before.
* Edelman (pictured) did, however, look strong on his feet one day after ending the practice by awkwardly getting tangled up with Eric Rowe. On one one-on-one rep he shook Rowe to create a great deal of separation for the easy grab.
* Jason McCourty once again spent time with the top defensive unit for the second straight day. Jonathan Jones, Ja'Whaun Bentley and Keionta Davis also got early reps on the defensive side.
* Ryan Allen dropped a couple of punts right into a coned-off coffin corner that went from the goal line to the seven-yard line.
* Patrick Chung took some punt return work early. He's an option there for the Patriots in the first four weeks with Edelman out. Chung, Edelman, Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios and Cyrus Jones convened as the punt-return group -- though Jones watched and didn't take part in the period.
* Trent Harris left the session early with a Patriots staffer. The undrafted rookie garnered attention last week for his strip sack late in the preseason opener against Washington.