American Football

5 players to watch on the second day of Patriots training camp


NFL: JUL 26 New England Patriots Training Camp
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Patriots will be back on the practice fields on Thursday morning for their second session of the summer.

The New England Patriots will return to the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday morning for their second practice of this year’s training camp. Players will once again not wear full pads as part of the ramp-up period leading into camp, but the session still projects to be a competitive one yet again.

And with that being said, here are six players to keep an eye on during the session:

WR Tyquan Thornton: The Patriots’ second-year wide receiver was actively involved during organized team activities, but later missed time due to a reported soft-tissue injury. He appeared to be fine on Wednesday, but still only played a marginal role compared to other pass catchers on the roster: he saw only one pass come his way during competitive team drills, and finished without any catches.

WR Kendrick Bourne: With new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien running multiple 12-personnel looks with JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki as the primary receiving options, Bourne also had a relatively quiet morning on Wednesday. He still appears to be the next man up, and the top substitute when the team goes to three-receiver sets, but his usage will again be worth keeping a close eye on.

LB Mack Wilson Sr.: The Patriots did not give Wilson any defensive snaps down the stretch in 2022, using him exclusively on special teams. They then went on to re-sign him in free agency, and give him plenty of quality reps in practice on Wednesday. Will this be a sign of things to come? That remains to be seen.

CB Rodney Randle Jr.: New England signed Randle earlier this offseason following a two-year stint in the CFL. He was considered as a roster bubble player entering training camp but had a surprisingly active day on Wednesday; he ran with the second-stringers at times and registered a pass breakup. As with Wilson, his future involvement will be interesting to see.

CB Jack Jones: Whether or not Jones’ unresolved legal situation had any influence on his practice usage on Wednesday is not known. However, the sophomore cornerback saw most of his action with the backup players rather than the starters. The team used him similarly early on in the spring, but he eventually also saw action as a top outside cornerback. Will this summer be more of the same? Ideally, the answer is yes.

Practice will kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET and run until around 11:15 a.m. ET. Afterwards, several players including defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and linebackers Matthew Judon and Josh Uche will meet with the media.

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