The Patriots and Bucs went at it for the second straight day but the play by play took a backseat to Tom Brady and his potential injury. The Franchise came up limping following a throw toward Aaron Dobson, appearing to hurt his lower left leg. He limped a bit and went to the sideline for a play with trainer Jim Whalen.
After Ryan Mallett took over for one play, Brady returned and tossed a few short passes before leaving again, this time for good. He and Whalen made their way through the crowd and toward the Dana Farber Field House and was not seen again.
It was tough to see what happened on the play but it appeared that Bucs defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn bull rushed Nate Solder and the tackle was pushed back and he and Brady got tangled up. The Patriots had no further details to add to the situation.
With that obviously casting a pall on the remainder of the proceedings, here are some observations from the Patriots 15th practice of training camp.
--The Patriots were without six players on Wednesday including a key addition to the list – tight end Daniel Fells. Fells appeared to injure his shoulder midway through Tuesday's practice, and although he remained on the field he did not take part in any more reps. He joined wide receiver Mark Harrison (NFI/foot), offensive lineman Tyronne Green, tight end Rob Gronkowski (PUP/arm, back), defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and defensive lineman Armond Armstead (NFI/illness).
The good news was linebacker Brandon Spikes was back in uniform after missing yesterday's practice. Spikes appeared to be shaken up after a play in the preseason-opening win over Philadelphia last week but evidently it wasn't anything serious.
Devin McCourty continues to wear his red, non-contact jersey despite taking part in virtually all of the workout. He was even showing some physicality while covering Bucs receivers in drills.
There remains a group of players who have recently returned to uniform but have yet to do much. That includes corners Ras-I Dowling and Alfonzo Dennard as well as offensive linemen Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon and Kevin Haslam. They were seen working on conditioning on the lower practice field at times during practice. Wide receiver Michael Jenkins, who has been with that group the past two days, was more active and took part in the receiving drills.
--Vince Wilfork spent some time on the stationary bike early in practice but joined his fellow defensive linemen for drills shortly thereafter.
--After suiting up for Tuesday's practice, Tampa's All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis was in shorts as a spectator on Wednesday.
--While the players were going through their pre-practice routines on the regular fields, the specialists for both teams were all working out on the lower field. Not only were they relegated a different spot but the goal posts were both crooked due to a rather strong summer wind. As Andy Hart said, the uprights were upwrongs.
--As Andy pointed out yesterday, the Bucs do some different drills as part of their warm-up. Today they had one station where a coach would bounce a fumble near the sideline and the defenders would need to keep it in bounds before recovering it. Hadn't seen that one before.
--Robert and Jonathan Kraft were on the field watching practice. At one point Robert conducted an interview with a German reporter who is often in Foxborough covering Sebastian Vollmer.
--Dobson made a terrific catch while jumping over Bucs cornerback Leonard Johnson during one-on-one drills. With the pass coming toward the inside, Dobson was able to elude Johnson and make the touchdown catch.
--The Fox broadcast team, which will handle the game on Friday night, was on hand to watch practice. Steve Albert, Daryl "Moose" Johnston and Tony Siragusa walked between the fields and took in the action.
--Aqib Talib was beaten badly by Vincent Jackson on a slant early in the one-on-ones but the veteran corner responded later. The next time the two hooked up, Talib jammed the taller receiver effectively and knocked him off his route. Josh Freeman's throw went right to Talib, and the corner made the easy pick.
--The teams will practice again on Thursday with the tempo likely to be slowed to a walk-through, or near-walk-through pace. The practice is open to the public and will commence at 2 p.m. It will be the final practice open to the public this summer.