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Friday afternoon practice notes: Julian Edelman leaves early

08.02.13 at 5:57 pm ET

FOXBORO — While Gillette Stadium was filled with American Idol hopefuls, the Patriots returned to practice for their seventh day of training camp.

– As far as attendance went, Ras-I Dowling, Marcus Cannon, Kevin Haslam, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham and Armond Armstead were all absent. Devin McCourty once again participated but did so in a red (non-contact) jersey.

Asked prior to the practice about his players who have been off the field, Bill Belichick was predictably tight-lipped.

‘€œWe have a lot of guys in the day-to-day category,” he said. “We’€™ll go out there and see what they can do.’€

– One guy the Pats probably don’t want to see missing any more time is Julian Edelman, who left practice early after suffering some sort of ailment on a pass from Ryan Mallett late in practice. He didn’t participate in any more drills and could later be seen talking to a trainer with no shoes on. Friday was Edelman’s second day of practice this preseason, and prior to it Belichick said the veteran receiver had “a long way to go” before he was up to speed.

Prior to ending his day early, Edelman muffed a punt pretty badly but was able to recover it.

– McCourty, who has moved around within the Patriots’ secondary over the last two seasons, was used as a cornerback in Friday’s practice.

– Edelman aside, the major focus of this preseason is the team’s group of receivers, and there was some good and bad to come from the crop on Friday. Fourth-round pick Josh Boyce had some trouble holding onto the ball in drills that focused on quick five-yard passes but later made a nice catch in the corner of the endzone with Alfonzo Dennard in coverage.

Second-rounder Aaron Dobson had a bad bobble and subsequent drop on a pass from Tim Tebow, though he later made up for it with a nice catch on a pass from Ryan Mallett following a flea-flicker. Dobson’s best moment on the day came when he beat Aqib Talib clean en route to hauling in a pass in the end zone.

Free agent signing Danny Amendola also had his bright and not-so-bright spots. He had back-to-back ugly plays when he dropped a screen and then fumbled following catch over the middle.

– Not surprisingly, free agent signing Michael Jenkins has not been working with the receivers, but hanging out elsewhere on the field during receiver drills. Despite all of the turnover at the position in the offseason, it was hard to imagine Jenkins being a serious candidate to make the team.

– Talib picked off Tom Brady during drills with paddles being held up at the line of scrimmage.

– There were some big names in local sports as Boston college hockey coach Jerry York, Athletic Director Brad Bates and director of hockey operations John Hegarty were on the field Friday taking in practice.

Read More: 2013 training camp, Julian Edelman,



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