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Notes from Patriots training camp 7/29/2016: Julian Edelman looks close to a return

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An inside look at the Patriots second day of open practice.

The New England Patriots battled the rain and have wrapped up their second open practice session. Quarterback Tom Brady slammed his helmet on the ground in frustration after a pair of incompletions and head coach Bill Belichick was squirting water on the football to simulate additional rain for the special teams unit.

So it’s basically like every other practice.

Attendance

Three players were not spotted on the field: safety Nate Ebner (Olympics), guard Tre Jackson (knee), and running back Dion Lewis (knee). Jackson is noteworthy because he was on the field for Thursday’s practice.

Linebacker Jamie Collins returned to the field after his excused absence yesterday.

Injuries

One day after throwing up, wide receiver Nate Washington did not participate in practice and stood on the side.

Safety Duron Harmon and cornerback Logan Ryan continue to wear non-contact jerseys.

Wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola participated in hill runs, which could mean a return in the near future.

Offense

Center David Andrews has snapped to quarterback Tom Brady for the second-straight session. This could imply two extremely different takeaways: 1) Bryan Stork is the favorite to win the starting center role and the coaching staff wants him with week 1-4 starter Jimmy Garoppolo as much as possible to develop a rapport; or 2) Andrews is the favorite for the starter job and he is working on his timing with Brady for the final 12 weeks of the season. I lean towards the former.

Guards Joe Thuney and Jonathan Cooper “remain the favorites” to start as Josh Kline and Shaq Mason return from injury.

Multiple beat writers showered praise on wide receivers Chris Harper, Chris Hogan, Aaron Dobson, and DeAndre Carter. Tight end Martellus Bennett made a few big grabs over safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty.

“Running back D.J. Foster stood out in the passing game,” NESN beat writer Doug Kyed notes. “He hauled in three passes, including one from Brady. His speed and quickness continue to stand out over other Patriots running backs.”

7-on-7

Tom Brady: 12/17, INT

Jimmy Garoppolo: 14/15

Jacoby Brissett: 8/10

11-on-11

Brady: 5/7

Garoppolo: 4/7

Brissett: 4/7, INT

Defense

Safety Duron Harmon intercepted Brady during a goal line drill, while special teams star Brandon King had multiple breakups. Cornerbacks Malcolm Butler, Darryl Roberts, and Jonathan Jones defended passes of their own.

Edge defenders Rob Ninkovich and Shea McClellin worked out with both the defensive line and linebackers. Bill Belichick definitely has a trick up his sleeve here. I would expect the Patriots will have their hybrid 4/3 front that Vince Wilfork anchored for the better part of a decade.

ProJo’s Mark Daniels notes that Markus Kuhn took first team reps at defensive tackle, ahead of Terrance Knighton.

Special Teams

The Patriots dedicated a portion of practice so offensive and defensive linemen could work on covering squib kicks. The rain didn’t make it easy and the drill also functions as a fumble recovery drill for those in the trenches.

Cyrus Jones, Keshawn Martin, V’Angelo Bentley, and DeAndre Carter returned punts.