This week, the Patriots begin what's known in football vernacular as Phase 3 of the offseason program, when organized team activity practices (OTAs) commence on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. These sessions remain ostensibly voluntary for players to attend, but it is considered unusual for any player not to be here with his teammates at this time of year.
Which brings us to New England's two most high-profile athletes. Will Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski be on the field this week in Foxborough? According to NFL Network, indications are not optimistic.
Meanwhile, WEEI.com examines five things to watch during this important week for the Patriots.
TheBoston Heraldfocuses more narrowly on two second-year defensive ends who could play key roles for the Patriots in 2018. A Boston Sports Journal feature also looks at other young Patriots poised for a leap year this season.
While the Patriots will be busy on the field this week, there will only be one day that the media will be allowed to cover the action. That's tomorrow, and you'll find full coverage from our patriots.com team, including PFW in Progress at a special 1-3 p.m. time slot (to accommodate our viewing of practice beforehand). We'll also post our usual practice blogservations and news recap of Tuesday's events.