FOXBORO — Mother Nature brought a premature end to Day 4 of Patriots training camp Sunday outside Gillette Stadium. The Patriots will not practice Monday before returning to the practice field on Tuesday.
Coaches and players jogged off the field as the first of several thunderclaps and heavy rains pelted the field, drawing practice to a close at about 11:15 a.m. Here are some of the highlights before the rains came:
The Patriots worked out in pads for a second straight day.
New wide receivers Cole Stanford (14) and Brian Tyms (84) were both in uniform and caught passes on consecutive routes early in drills. They were there as the 89th and 90th players on the roster after injured wide receiver Greg Orton was released on Sunday.
The Patriots continued to work on running drills, taking advantage of working in full pads. Jerod Mayo made a big hit on Brandon Bolden, sporting neon green cleats, early in the practice. Bolden was running to the end and Mayo came up and made the stop. But the biggest hit by far came later in 11-on-11 drills when Brandon Browner laid out rookie running back James White as he ran to the edge before getting hammered by the corner.
Rob Gronkowski again just observed full contact work, limiting his work again to individual drills. He did take part in a walk-through in 11-on-11, representing a step forward as the Patriots continue to be cautious with guiding him back into full scale practice. Tom Brady and Gronkowski again spent time working alone on red zone and passing drills while the special teams worked on punt coverages and returns.
Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola were back deep returning kicks again with Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty and Brandon Browner all seeing work on the punt return team, defending the gunner off the line of scrimmage.
Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo saw the majority of snaps in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills early on. Brady did find Kenbrell Thompkins on a well-executed pass, beating Browner. Brady then hit Brandon LaFell on his next pass. In 11-on-11s, Mallett got picked by Malcolm Butler. Garoppolo completed a nice pass over the middle to Tyms. Garoppolo, who struggled Saturday, continued to look better Sunday, executing a nice swing pass to rookie Roy Finch.
Sunday also featured loud music as the Patriots worked on silent counts at the line of scrimmage. “Crazy Train” blared an hour into practice at the start of 11-on-11s. Mallett, again with first unit, found Edelman on a nice in-cut with music blaring, clapping his hands together after the completion.
Josh Boyce caught a long pass from Mallett deep left sideline for those about to rock blaring.
The only significant scuffle of practice came during drills that had QB working on check downs under duress. Michael Hoomanawanui caught a pass and was brought down by rookie linebacker Taylor McCuller. The two exchanged pushes and shoves but were quickly separated.
Linebackers Steve Beauharnais and McCuller did a lap for offsides while Garoppolo (to cheers) and OL Bryan Stork joined them for a transgression five minutes later.