TAMPA —Joint practices between the Patriots and Buccaneers continue at One Buc Place in Tampa. The half-hour media viewing portion of practice is now complete, but practice is ongoing just outside the door. We'll speak with some of the players and coaches again in about 90 minutes, when the training session wraps up.
Meantime, here are the main observations from this morning's brief window:
- Add two players to the did-not-take-part list: WR Wes Welker and DB Ross Ventrone. Both players were in attendance, watching off to the side in shorts and t-shirts. It's unclear if Welker's absence was injury-related or simply for body maintenance reasons. Ventrone, however, has wearing a black medical sleeve on his left lower leg.
- The other nine players missing from yesterday's workout were not there today either: safety Patrick Chung (shoulder); WR Jabar Gaffney (right leg or hip); linebacker Tracy White (unknown); o-linemen Matt Kopa and rookie Markus Zusevics (pectoral/NFI); tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe (unknown) and Jake Ballard (knee/PUP); and defensive linemen Myron Pryor (shoulder/PUP) and Gerard "Big Money" Warren.
- In Chung's absence, rookie Tavon Wilson continues to line up next to Steve Gregory in New England's first-unit secondary.
- Veteran DB Will Allen was back on the field after leaving yesterday's session prematurely.
- Players on both squads are wearing shells and helmets for today's practice after going full pads yesterday. Normally, the day before a game, teams hold walkthrough practices without pads, but, as was the case when the Saints and Patriots held joint practices earlier this month, there is a little more action in these combined sessions. Hence, the need for the smaller, lighter shoulder padding. The intensity level, however, will be scaled down considerably from Wednesday's workout.
- Players, including defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, and New England's defensive coaching staff are scheduled to speak with reporters after practice. A full recap of today's activity will be posted later on patriots.com. UPDATE…
- Kickoff of next Wednesday's Patriots preseason finale has been changed. New England and the New York Giants will start at 7 p.m., a half-hour earlier than originally scheduled.