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New England Patriots announce preseason joint practice dates in August with Chicago Bears

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The table has been set for an exciting week of practice.

The New England Patriots and Chicago Bears have officially announced the dates for joint practice prior to their preseason tilt. The Patriots will host the Bears on Monday, August 15th and Tuesday, August 16th.

Joint practices are a great way for a team to face different faces in practice and they have become more frequent after the Collective Bargaining Agreement was put in place. Coaches now have more limited time with the players and joint practices allow for a greater range of film opportunities.

It also doesn't hurt when it comes to scouting other teams.

The Patriots added defensive tackle Akiem Hicks from the New Orleans Saints in a 2015 midseason trade after the two teams met in the preseason. Hicks is coincidentally on the Bears and will come back to New England for the joint practices.

New England has three former Bears on the roster in tight end Martellus Bennett (acquired for a 4th round pick), linebacker Shea McClellin (signed in free agency), and defensive back Brock Vereen (added to the practice squad in 2015).

The Bears feature Hicks, along with former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer, offensive lineman Ted Larsen, and kicker Robbie Gould.