Add wide receiver Aaron Bailey to list of nicked up Patriots in camp.
Backup quarterback John Friesz threw a pass over the middle. Bailey injured his shoulder when he landed awkwardly while trying to come down with the ball. He missed the remainder of practice and is listed as day-to-day.
Sean Morey stepped in as Bailey's replacement. On his first play, he beat out Ty Law. The pass fell a little short, but Morey came back to it, wrestled it from Law and ran into the end zone. Law made sure that didn't happen again on the next play, holding Morey up at the line of scrimmage. Morey was not to be out done and got the last laugh by catching the next two balls then tackling Kato Serwanga on an interception.
The team spent much of the afternoon in passing drills, and Serwanga was impressive in his fight for the starting cornerback job. He broke up two passes in the end zone and intercepted another. One of the passes disrupted by Serwanga was thrown by Michael Bishop, who took the majority of the second string snaps over Friesz.
There was urgency in Head Coach Bill Belichick's voice only four days into camp as he realized that he had more injured and "out-of-shape" players than he had bikes and stair-masters on hand. So Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Woicik simply made the newly sidelined players do push-ups.
In addition to Bailey, the players unable to practice were Matt Bumgardner, Mike Woods, Chad Cascadden, Lance Scott, Todd Rucci, Martinez Williams, Brandon Mitchell, Ted Johnson, Dave Stachelski and Bruce Armstrong.
The injury list caused a facelift for the offensive line. Already missing Armstrong, Rucci and Scott, the line was also without Grant Williams, who injured his right knee. The line Thursday afternoon had Max Lane at left tackle, Jason Andersen at left guard, and rookie free agent Adam Davis slipped in at right guard. Andersen also replaced Damien Woody for a few snaps during the two-minute drill because of Woody's poor shotgun snaps.
The dire need for these players to return to health immediately comes from the Patriots early agenda of a scrimmage with the New York Giants next week and the Hall of Fame Game scheduled against the San Francisco 49ers in only 12 days. Belichick's style to leave the players who can not stay with the pack and move on dictated Thursday afternoon's practice. Unlike yesterday Belichick made the team come out wearing shoulder pads to let them know he meant business. The players responded well to the message as some stepped up to fill key positions.
As the players made their short drive from the locker room to the practice field a sports bulletin flashed over the radio waves: Former Patriot Ben Coates had signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Whether the news reached Eric Bjornson or not, he played like a man possessed, making grab after grab. The nicest catch was a 15-yard touchdown on which he beat linebacker Marc Megna to the post.
Camp Notes: The quarterbacks spent time trying to throw the ball into a trash can 40 yards away, but only Bishop and Brady made contact, and no one put it in … Thursday's fan attendance of 4,000 pushed the total thus far more than 11,000 this week … Freisz and Morey stayed late after practice to work on their timing … After Tony Carter dropped a 10-yard hook pass, Weiss jokingly explained that was why he doesn't have the ball thrown to him … The biggest catch was Terry Glenn beating Serwanga for a 40-yard touchdown … Dick Rehbein has the quarterbacks warm-up with medicine balls … Andy Katzenmoyer spent the day with Special Teams perfecting his punt block … Like Lawyer Milloy covering Glenn yesterday, Law hurt his knee and gave the crowd a scare, but returned to the line-up four plays later … Bruce Armstrong spends more time on a bike then Lance Armstrong.