The Patriots and Eagles completed their three days of joint practices with a walk-through under sunny skies in Foxborough on Thursday. Jerod Mayo
was not present for the third straight day, which almost certainly means he won’t be joining his teammates on the field for tomorrow night’s game.
One guy who will take part for the first time is Tom Brady
. The quarterback spoke on Wednesday about his desire to get some preseason work in, and judging from the amount of reps he and the first offense took during the walk-through it would be surprising if the group didn’t get at least a series or two of action.
While it’s unclear how long Brady will play, Ryan Mallett
said he hopes to get another chance to make a positive impression after a disappointing opener. Mallett missed some practice time earlier in the week that he described as “maintenance” but said he was ready to go.
“There are some things we obviously have to do better,” Mallett said. “We didn’t play very well. I think we came out here and practiced well and got better, so that’s what we’re trying to do every day -- get better. So we’ll go out here and play the Eagles tomorrow and be ready to go.”
In terms of the injury list, the Patriots are still dealing with a sizable group of players who haven’t practiced much if at all recently. In addition to Mayo, Michael Hoomanawanui
, James Anderson
, Chris Jones
and Sealver Siliga
remained out. Also, Tavon Wilson
, Bryan Stork
, Ja’Gared Davis and Kanorris Davis
all spent time rehabbing on the Revs practice field, so it would appear none of them would be available for the Eagles.
The Patriots also released veteran tight end Ben Hartsock, leaving just Steve Maneri
as a true tight end option for the game. Rob Gronkowski
continues to be limited to drills and 7-on-7 work, although this week he has removed the bulky brace he’s worn over his left arm previously in camp.
Another player to monitor is Darrelle Revis
. He did not play in the opener and based on today’s work it doesn’t look like he’ll be out there tomorrow night either. The secondary included corners Alfonzo Dennard
and Malcolm Butler
at times with Brandon Browner
also in the mix. Logan Ryan
worked as the nickel back, but Revis didn’t appear to take any reps on defense.
One interesting player to watch is Patrick Chung
, who is one of four players who has gotten consistent reps alongside Devin McCourty
at safety. He has joined Duron Harmon
, Nate Ebner
and Wilson at the spot, and during the walk-through he was included in a number of the defensive packages.
Chung is back for his second go-round with New England and he’s noticed some differences.
“It’s simple, whatever team you go to you have to go in ready to learn,” Chung said. “Whatever team you go to things are going to change year to year. Right now I’m still learning and trying to stay confident with it.
“We have a bunch of good players in here that can do a lot of good things and a bunch of smart players that are learning fast. It keeps the competition going and keeps us close because we’re a good group – not selfish. Whoever’s out there playing we’re going to support regardless of who it is.”
Look for Chung to get plenty of playing time against the Eagles, where he could be matched up with his former teammates – tight end Zach Ertz.
“He’s a real good player,” Chung said. “He does a lot of things well. He’s a handful.”