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Patriots 8/11 Practice Notes: Tom Brady Absent, Jimmy Garoppolo Struggles, Darryl Roberts Stars

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The New England Patriots creep towards their first preseason game against the Packers and the team is in rough shape.

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries and Availability

- Quarterback Tom Brady was absent because he is making his way to New York to handle his appeal over DeflateGate, per Mike Reiss.

- Tackle Nate Solder and center Bryan Stork missed time, which meant that the Patriots were without four of their five starting offensive linemen from 2014, and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is still recovering from his offseason surgery.

- Running back LeGarrette Blount returned to the field, as did receivers Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson, but they mostly participated in warm-ups and worked out on the side of the field.

Offensive Notes

- The Patriots offense was clearly short-handed, with Brady sidelined, along with Edelman, Brandon LaFell, and Dobson, Scott Chandler, Solder, Stork, and Blount. This means that Vollmer, Tre Jackson, Shaq Mason, and Rob Gronkowski were the only healthy starters on the field.

- Undrafted free-agent rookie David Andrews seems to be taking over as the second string center, behind Bryan Stork. Andrews has a better chance of making the roster if Ryan Wendell remains sidelined.

- Interior lineman Josh Kline has been working on his center abilities and has been working with new third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley. Kline and Andrews are the top candidates for the final offensive line roster spot.

- With tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon out, Cameron Fleming saw time at tackle.

- Running back James White continues to make positive plays as a receiver and caught a great wheel route (the Shane Vereen Special!) over rookie edge defender Trey Flowers.

Defensive Notes

- Rookie cornerback Darryl Roberts showed up with an impressive four pass break-ups on the day. He is definitely making a case that he deserves to make the roster.

- Fellow bubble player Tavon Wilson continues to show up at camp and had two more interceptions. He finished the 2014 season on a good note and seems to be stringing together multiple quality days in a row. Wilson is one of the team's top special teamers, so don't be surprised if he makes the roster.

- Rookie safety Jordan Richards seems to be the team's top dime back, which is the role held by Wilson, so their performance on the field in the preseason games will be fun to watch.

- Defensive tackle Alan Branch is still working his way back after being activated from the Non-Football Injury list.

Miscellaneous

- The weather made it excessively difficult for receivers and defensive backs to catch the ball.

- Matthew Slater was activated from the PUP list.