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Notes from Patriots training camp 8/3/2016: DT Alan Branch gets activated off NFI; returns to practice

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Find out what happened at today’s training camp practice.

Yesterday, the New England Patriots had their first off-day of this year’s training camp. Today, the team has returned to the fields behind Gillette Stadium for its sixth practice session, which was held in pads and under crystal-clear skies. In short: it was a perfect day for football.

Attendance

The list of players that did not practice looked as follows: RB Dion Lewis (PUP), RB Donald Brown, WR Julian Edelman (PUP), WR Danny Amendola (PUP), WR Chris Hogan, WR Keshawn Martin, WR Nate Washington, TE Clay Harbor (PUP), OT Sebastian Vollmer (PUP), OC Bryan Stork, OG Jonathan Cooper, OG Trey Jackson (PUP), LB Jonathan Freeny, SS Nate Ebner.

Donald Brown, who was seen talking to trainers during Monday’s session is a new addition to the list.

Of the 14 players above, Lewis, Brown, Stork, Cooper, Martin and – naturally – Ebner were not spotted, the others were present but did not participate in drills and team segments.

Defensive tackle Alan Branch has been activated off the Non-Football Injury list and participated in full-pad drills.

Injuries

Rookie tight end Bryce Williams had to get his left knee iced up on the sidelines. He was available for interviews after the practice, so his injury is likely not of the serious kind.

Offense

The quarterbacks performed as follows:

11-vs-11:
Tom Brady: 14 of 20
Jimmy Garoppolo: 10 of 15
Jacoby Brissett: 5 of 6

7-vs-7:
Brady: 2 of 5
Brissett: 3 of 5

1-vs-1:
Brady: 6 of 10, INT
Brissett: 3 of 6

Brady closed practice with five straight completions to tight end Martellus Bennett during 11-vs-11s.

The future Hall of Famer was the last player to leave the practice fields.

For the first time this camp, Shaq Mason participated in team drills. He was with the second unit as a left guard, with Joe Thuney playing left guard with the first team offensive line. Thuney in general continues to look good.

Josh Kline saw most of his reps at guard but also saw a few at center.

Cameron Fleming started practice at right tackle over Marcus Cannon.

Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola spent most of their morning doing conditioning work.

James White, LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski, Michael Bennett, Aaron Dobson and Malcolm Mitchell worked on deep routes with the quarterbacks during a special teams segment. Mitchell had another impressive day, displaying good hands and crisp route running.

Defense

Undrafted rookie cornerback Jonathan Jones saw reps as the fifth cornerback – behind Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Justin Coleman and Cyrus Jones – today.

Logan Ryan, who worked in the slot a lot, intercepted Brady during 1-on-1s. Malcolm Butler, V’Angelo Bentley and Cyrus Jones had pass deflections today.

Rob Ninkovich continues to work with both the defensive ends and the linebackers.

Malcom Brown and Markus Kuhn were the first-team pair at defensive tackle today.

Special teams

Cyrus Jones and V’Angelo Bentley practiced kickoff returns today.

Patrick Chung blocked a field goal attempt.