|LeGarrette Blount (hip) returns for 1st time after missing end of 2015, but may not be back to full strength yet||07.28.16 at 5:47 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For the first time since Dec. 13 of last year, LeGarrette Blount was back on the field with his Patriots teammates.
After the Patriots’ win over the Texans, Blount was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a hip injury. He missed all of the spring practices, but was back participating on Thursday, the first day of training camp.
“It’s great,” Blount said of getting back on the field. “It’s a wonderful feeling to just be out here and blessed to be out here with these guys — sweating, hot and just being able to be able to come out here and work with them.”
While he’s back on the field, it doesn’t appear the 29-year-old will be going full-tilt, at least for the time being.
“We’re taking it day-by-day,” he said. “Good enough to go out there and participate in practice and all activities.”
Blount participated in all the drills on Thursday, but it’s worth noting it was the first day of camp and the team will not be in full pads until Saturday. It won’t be until then where there will be a true sense of exactly where he’s at in regards to being full strength.
As it relates to the running back group, they may be asked to do a bit more than in the past, especially in the first four games to take some weight off of Jimmy Garoppolo’s shoulders. Blount isn’t thinking about that as he’s just worried about himself.
“Me personally, that’s the only thing I am worried about is me,” he said. “What I can do to contribute and what I can do to help the team do whatever we need to do to win games.”
Last year Blount had 20 or more carries in just one game and that could potentially change over Weeks 1-4 if the team goes to more of a ground-based attack.
“I’m going to do whatever Bill [Belichick] needs me to do to make sure we’re successful,” he said.
Blount leads a running back group that includes Dion Lewis, James White, Donald Brown and Tyler Gaffney.
|Patriots issue weather advisory for Friday’s practice with rain in forecast||07.28.16 at 5:24 pm ET|
While the Patriots will practice Friday despite heavy rain in the forecast, the team is warning fans the session could be moved inside to the Enpower Field House, which would mean it would be closed to the public.
Here is the complete announcement:
The forecast for Friday, July 29 is calling for rain, heavy at times, with a chance of thunderstorms. While the team plans on practicing as scheduled from 9:15-11:30 a.m. on the training camp practice fields behind Gillette Stadium, we would like to warn any fans planning to attend that thunderstorms could force the team to practice inside their Empower Field House at a moment’s notice. Due to space limitations, indoor practices will be closed to the public. Any updates or changes to the practice schedule will be posted on patriots.com/training camp and on the training camp information line at 508-549-0001.
|Duron Harmon (kind of) explains why he missed spring practices, is wearing red, non-contact jersey||07.28.16 at 3:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Nothing appeared to be wrong with Patriots safety Duron Harmon at the end of last season, but the Rutgers product missed all of the spring practices open to the media and then wore a red, non-contact jersey for the first training camp session on Thursday.
After the session, Harmon was asked what kept him away from the field in the spring and why he’s in the red, non-contact jersey now.
“It was something just cleaning it up and taking care of some things — minor problems, but I’m all set now,” he said.
Harmon appeared fine on the field, moving around well and not showing any signs of an injury. He hopes to get rid of the non-contact jersey soon.
“I’m not sure. I’m just do what I am told,” Harmon said. “It was in my locker, so I put it on. Hopefully soon, or whenever they take it off so I can just be out here ready to go.”
Another member of the secondary — cornerback Logan Ryan — like Harmon missed all of the spring practices and had a red, non-contact jersey on Thursday as well. It’s unclear why he was kept out during the spring.
Harmon and Ryan are part of an experienced secondary, who have played together for several years now. Harmon was excited to get back on the field with them and start working towards getting ready for the season.
In his three years in the league, Harmon has a total of six interceptions.
“It’s good. It’s good to come out here and build on the comradery,” Harmon said. “Just being together and trying to build each day to a common goal. It feels good just to be out here with them. The ceiling, we don’t really know what the ceiling is. All we can do is just come out here, get better and see how good we can be throughout the season.”
|Matthew Slater supports Nate Ebner by wearing No. 43 jersey at Patriots practice||07.28.16 at 2:35 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When taking attendance at the first Patriots training camp practice, it was strange seeing a No. 43 jersey on the field considering Nate Ebner is off preparing with the U.S. Rugby team for the upcoming Summer Olympics.
Ebner wasn’t back with the Patriots, instead it was special teams captain Matthew Slater showing his support for his fellow core special-teamer.
“I have a lot of respect for that guy,” Slater said. “I wanted to show him a little love today. This is supporting him as he chases his dream.”
Added Slater: “He might be a little bit surprised. I didn’t give him the heads-up. Hopefully he doesn’t get mad I had his jersey on.”
Even though Ebner hasn’t been able to be at Gillette Stadium with the rest of his team, Slater has made sure to keep him up to speed with what he’s missed.
“He’s living his dream, and not a lot of people get that opportunity to be an Olympian,” Slater said. “I gave him the install from (Wednesday). He knows what we did (Thursday morning). I’m sure I’ll give him the install (Thursday night). We know when he comes back here, he’ll be all-in here, but he needs to focus on what he’s doing now, and we understand that.”
It’s likely Ebner returns in the middle of August and he’s expected to be ready for the 2016 season. The entire team is pulling for him to bring back a gold medal.
“It’s unbelievable,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said. “He’s a great worker, hard worker, Nate Ebner. Always on top of his game out here. I know he played rugby before he came to the NFL, so huge props to him. Amazing accomplishment, and best of luck to him. Hopefully he brings home that gold and then (rejoins) our team. That would be awesome.”
|Report: Jamie Collins’ absence from Patriots practice expected, not contract-related||07.28.16 at 12:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There were three players not on the field for the first Patriots practice on Thursday: Dion Lewis, Nate Ebner and surprisingly, linebacker Jamie Collins.
Many players like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, who are on PUP, were on the field, but didn’t participate in drills, which is why Collins’ absence was particularly surprising.
Some immediately looked to his contract — a base salary of $917,000 this season — and him possibly holding out, but that reportedly isn’t the case.
According to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, Collins’ absence was “expected and not contract-related.”
Collins participated in both minicamp and OTAs.
The Patriots are back on the practice field Friday morning.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Report: Tom Jackson likely out at ESPN||07.26.16 at 10:41 am ET|
There have already been a few changes to ESPN’s NFL programming this season with the addition of Randy Moss and now it appears there will be another shake up.
According to the New York Daily News, analyst Tom Jackson is likely out at the network after 28 years.
Once source told the paper he is weighing his options, while another said the odds of him returning are “long.”
Following last season ESPN parted ways with Mike Ditka (he remains with ESPN in a limited capacity), Cris Carter, and Keyshawn Johnson. There are also reports that this will be Chris Berman’s last season with the network as well.
In addition to Moss, ESPN has hired Matt Hasselbeck, and Charles Woodson for their NFL shows this season.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Julian Edelman has ‘itch’ to get back on field, has been training to get in ‘football shape’||07.20.16 at 5:38 pm ET|
One of the biggest question marks entering Patriots training camp next week will be if wide receiver Julian Edelman will be on the field.
The wide out had offseason foot surgery after breaking his foot during the year, but did return for the postseason possibly doing more damage to the foot.
Edelman didn’t specifically address his foot, but sounded like a player who has been working hard in the offseason and is ready to get back out on the field with less than a week left in his offseason.
“You enjoy it, but you have the itch to get back,” Edelman said at Fenway Park Wednesday where he took batting practice, including hitting several homers over the Green Monster. “It’s not like you haven’t been doing anything. You’ve been training and get your body and yourself in football shape. That’s kind of where my focus has been.”
Edelman was asked about Tom Brady and him missing the first four games, but he didn’t want to get into it.
“I’m not here to talk about that, I am here to enjoy America’s pastime,” he said.
The Patriots’ first official training camp practice is July 28.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
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