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Mike Petraglia, Ryan Hannable talk fight time again in Foxboro, this time Bryan Stork 08.16.16 at 1:35 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Another day, another joint practice fight, this time involving Bryan Stork and the Bears. Earlier, it was Bears corner Harold Jones-Quartey putting a late hit on Julian Edelman after a pass completion from Jimmy Garoppolo. Aaron Dobson rushed to Edelman’s defense. That, plus other camp observations from Foxboro. WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable have you covered.

Read More: 2016 training camp, Aaron Dobson, Bryan Stork, Chicago Bears
Mike Petraglia recaps Sunday’s scorcher: Rob Ninkovich returns, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady appreciates Gisele 08.14.16 at 5:35 pm ET
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FOXBORO — A scorching Sunday at Patriots training camp and Tom Brady speaks about Gisele. Rob Ninkovich returns and Julian Edelman was a full go. Mike Petraglia has the details from Foxboro.

Read More: 2016 training camp, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, Rob Ninkovich
Sunday practice report: Rob Ninkovich returns, Jabaal Sheard absent, Julian Edelman full go at 4:31 pm ET
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FOXBORO — With a heat index of 105 degrees at the start on Sunday afternoon, the Patriots took the field in shorts and shells. The air temperature was 97 with a slight breeze to cool off the players.

“Free Tom Brady” chants came from the crowd that endured blistering temperatures in the sun. The crowd appeared to be the smallest of camp so far.

Midway through Sunday’s scorcher, the team took a knee for a five-minute water break.

Sunday also marked the final “solo” practice of camp, as the Bears come to town starting Monday for the first of three days of joint practices and Thursday’s 8 p.m. preseason game at Gillette. Following Wednesday’s practice, camp will close to the public.

The biggest surprise of the day came with the return of defensive end Rob Ninkovich in shorts and shells with his helmet on. After stretching, Ninkovich made his way down to the lower field to get individual work in, along with running back Donald Brown. Ninkovich reportedly suffered a torn triceps muscle in practice last Tuesday but did not injure his triceps tendon, which would have likely ended his season.

While Ninkovich was getting his work in, another edge rusher, Jabaal Sheard was not spotted Sunday on the field.

Chris Hogan was out of his red non-contact jersey.

Julian Edelman returned to full participation, an indication that his left foot tweak of last Tuesday is a distant memory and nothing more than a scare at this point. Edelman even spent time with Cyrus Jones and V’Angelo Bentley, mostly observing them returning punts. He returned a couple himself, eliciting big cheers from the fans.

Belichick spent several minutes before practice speaking with team doctor Mark Price on the sideline. After chatting up Price, Belichick welcomed former special teams coordinator Scott O’Brien to practice. Also welcoming O’Brien back was special teams captain Matthew Slater.

The visit was somewhat ironic as, during his press conference, Belichick called out his punt coverage team as “not very good” in the Thursday win over the Saints.

With David Andrews under center, Tom Brady took the first reps and connected on a pretty 35-yard pass down the left side to Nate Washington. That was followed up by a clean out pattern to Rob Gronkowski. Tyler Gaffney also took first team reps at running back.

Working with a group of primarily second-teamers, Jimmy Garoppolo also found Washington, a go-route of 35 yards down the right sideline, several plays later in 11-on-11s. Two plays later, Garoppolo overthrew Martellus Bennett, who stopped on the deep route, and was intercepted by Jordan Richards. Overall, both quarterbacks looked uneven Sunday, overthrowing several receivers.

While Kyler Kerbyson was not on the field after being released before Sunday’s practice, neither was Nate Ebner. Bill Belichick acknowledged during his press conference before Sunday’s field work that Kerbyson was released to make room for the imminent return of Ebner, the Team USA Rugby star who is making his way back from Rio.

The Patriots and Bears begin their joint practices Monday on the grass fields outside Gillette at 1:30 p.m., which is scheduled to be the start time all three days this week.

Read More: 2016 training camp, Jabaal Sheard, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Sebastian Vollmer among those not spotted on field prior to Patriots-Saints 08.11.16 at 7:07 pm ET
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Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman

FOXBORO — The following players were not spotted on the field prior to Thursday’s preseason game: wide receiver Julian Edelman, quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Chris Hogan, cornerback Logan Ryan, running back D.J. Foster, running back Dion Lewis, running back Donald Brown, safety Nate Ebner, tight end Bryce Williams, defensive end Rob Ninkovich, linebacker Jonathan Freeny, offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson, defensive lineman Frank Kearse, offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, wide receiver Danny Amendola and wide receiver Keshawn Martin.

All other players, including Rob Gronkowski, were spotted on the field in full pads warming up. It’s unclear whether or not he plays.

Of the players not spotted, there really weren’t any surprises as most of those players have been held out of practice lately, seemingly nursing injuries.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Sebastian Vollmer,
Setting the scene: Patriots open preseason vs. Saints in oppressive heat at 5:09 pm ET
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IMG_0017

Gillette Stadium will be hot for the Patriots preseason opener. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Mother Nature decided to turn up the heat and provide a conditioning test right out of the chute as the Patriots open the preseason against the Saints Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

In a game that is expected to be missing Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski among others, game-time temperatures at 7:30 are expected to touch 87 degrees with 60 percent humidity, making it feel like 95 at kickoff. The temperature will fall to 80 by the end of the game.

The good news is that there’s no precipitation in the forecast for the game. But there will be precious little breeze either, with winds expected out of the south at 6-7 MPH.

The biggest storyline coming in figures to be the performance of Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots quarterback is being prepped to start the season opener Sept. 11 in Arizona in place of the suspended Tom Brady.

Chris Price has a complete run-down of what to look for in the game against the Saints.

Read More: 2016 training camp, Jimmy Garoppolo, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
What we’ll be watching for in Patriots’ preseason opener vs. Saints at 10:04 am ET
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Will it be The Jimmy Garoppolo Show Thursday night against the Saints? (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Will it be the Jimmy Garoppolo show Thursday night against the Saints? (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Here’s what we’ll be keeping an extra close eye on when the Patriots meet the Saints in the preseason opener for both teams Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

Who plays: Reportedly, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman will not play. For the record, over the last 10 years Brady has sat for the first preseason game three times: 2014, 2011 and 2008. (For those of you projecting six months down the road, the Patriots reached the Super Bowl on two of those occasions.) As for Gronkowski and Edelman, both have consecutive-game preseason absences on the line. The big tight end hasn’t played in a preseason game since 2012, missing 13 straight. And Edelman has missed five consecutive preseason games dating back to last year. Not that it’s a huge surprise, but count on Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and Sebastian Vollmer not to play as well, as they’ve been out of action to this point all summer.

Quarterback reps: As we have said all summer, not all reps are created equal. (That’s one of the reasons we’re not obsessively cataloguing who gets what opportunities every day when it comes to 7-on-7s.) Keeping in mind Bill Belichick’s directive at the start of camp that the goal was to make Jimmy Garoppolo as ready as possible for the regular season, it’s a sign that in this case, the value of preseason game reps trumps those in practice. For those of you wondering how much work is too much for Garoppolo, here’s a look at his preseason stat line from 2015.

vs. Green Bay — 56 snaps, 20-for-30, 159 yards, 1 INT
vs. New Orleans — 70 snaps, 28-for-33, 269 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
vs. Carolina — 33 snaps, 13-for-17, 126 yards, 1 TD
vs. NYG — DNP

One more note on Garoppolo: While the circumstances were different, it’s worth noting that the last time he started in the preseason, it was 2014 finale against the Giants. In that one, he went wire to wire, playing 69 snaps and finishing 22-for-42 for 284 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

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Read More: 2016 training camp, Aaron Dobson, Bryan Stork, Chris Long
Wednesday Patriots practice report: Julian Edelman returns for early part of glorified walkthrough with Saints 08.10.16 at 12:53 pm ET
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Julian Edelman returned to the practice field on Wednesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Julian Edelman returned to the practice field on Wednesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots held the second of two joint practices with the Saints in advance of Thursday’s preseason game on a rainy Wednesday morning on the backfields of Gillette Stadium. It was essentially a walkthrough.

Players not spotted on the field were: running back Dion Lewis, tight end Bryce Williams, offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper, wide receiver Danny Amendola, special teamer Nate Ebner and offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer and linebacker Rob Ninkovich.

Offensive lineman Nate Solder returned after missing Tuesday.

There were three players in red, non-contact jerseys: Logan Ryan, Chris Hogan and Jonathan Freeny.

The biggest takeaway was Julian Edelman returning to the field after leaving Tuesday’s session with an apparent foot injury. Edelman took part in all the drills, including catching a few passes from Tom Brady, before going down to the lower fields for conditioning work once team drills began. Although he didn’t participate in the full session, him being on the field at all with the wet grass was a very encouraging sign.

Joining Edelman on the lower fields were D.J. Foster, Donald Brown, Anthony Johnson and Frank Kearse.

Here are some observations from the nearly two hour session:

— This was by far the least intense practice of the summer, which isn’t a surprise with it being the day before the first preseason game, but worth wondering why the Saints didn’t come up for practices Monday and Tuesday where they could be more intense.

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Read More: 2016 training camp, Jimmy Garoppolo, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady
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