And On the Third Day: Patriots Training Camp Observations from Day Three

Patriots quarterbacks each impress, a free agent wideout stand out above the rest, and potential injury on which to keep a ‘sharp eye’ on the third day of training camp practices in New England.
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The Pats returned to the practice fields for Day Three of Training Camp practices in Foxboro. On a beautiful summer day in New England, the Pats practiced in shells for the first time in 2021 camp.

Here are some of Friday’s highlights of the third day of Pats Training Camp practices:

Roll Call:

Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson was present on the practice fields, indicating that he has been removed from the NFI (Non-Football-Injury) list. Only safety Joshuah Bledsoe and linebacker Cameron McGrone remain on the list, and unable to practice at this time.

Those veterans absent from Friday's on-field action once again included QB Jarrett Stidham, CB Stephon Gilmore, LB Brandon King, TE Dalton Keene, LB Chase Winovich, DT Byron Cowart and LB Terez Hall. Each of these players is currently ineligible to practice, as they remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

For the third straight day, linebacker Kyle Van Noy was present, but wearing a red non-contact jersey.

Linebacker Anfernee Jennings was once again not spotted on the practice fields.

Competition Heating Up

For the first time this week (at least, in my humble opinion), the offense got the better of the defense on Friday. It was a solid day for quarterback play, as Cam Newton and Mac Jones each put on some impressive performances. While the first two days of camp primarily focused on red zone drills, Friday was a day to air it out. Both Newton and Jones had the chance to take some shots down field, with Jones particularly showcasing his accuracy when driving down field.

During competitive 11-on-11 drills, Newton delivered a pair of impressive touchdown strikes, back-to-back to Nelson Agholor and Gunner Olszewski. He also delivered an efficient slant to wide receiver N’Keal Harry and a short cross to tight end Jonnu Smith. Newton would finish the day completing 14 of 20 passes.

Mac Jones was also not to be denied his time in the Foxboro sun. The rookie delivered arguably the throw of the day to receiver Kendrick Bourne to the back right corner of the endzone. He continues to demonstrate an innate ability to release the ball quickly and deliver it accurately. Jones was the victim of two drops, but still managed to complete 8-of-18 on the day.

Agholor Standing Out From the Rest

When the Patriots signed Nelson Agholor in the offseason, fans and media alike were hoping that they team might have found a wideout that could create consistent separation. Thus far, he has yet to disappoint. While he primarily played out of the slot during his time in Philadelphia, he was used primarily on vertical outside routes with the Raiders. It seems likely that the Patriots are looking to employ Agholor in the same fashion, taking advantage of his speed and ability to separate over the top. On Friday, the 28-year-old snagged three touchdowns, including an impressive connection with Cam Newton on a deep pass. Although he did drop an over-the-shoulder catch from a Mac Jones pass, Agholor seems to be developing quite the chemistry with his receivers.

Karras Injured?

Despite the sunshine, there was a concerning moment on Friday. During 11-on-11 drills, offensive lineman Ted Karras hit the ground and was slow to get up. Suffering an apparent knee injury. The Pats projected-swing-lineman, slowly walked off the field with trainers and was observed by medical staff. While Karras did not return to practice, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported that the team is optimistic that he has avoided serious injury. Howe further reported that Karras will get a precautionary MRI on his left knee.

Camp Schedule for Next Week

With the Pats finishing off week one of training camp on Saturday, July 31, they will apparently be back in action to begin next week, starting on Monday morning. Following an off-day on Sunday, the team will return to practice from Monday-Friday (August 2-6.)

From Monday-Thursday, practices will continue to be held on the practice fields adjacent to Gillette Stadium. Friday’s practice (8/6) will take place in the evening, inside Gillette Stadium, for season-ticket holders. Times of the practices will be confirmed via the team website.