The New England Patriots held the final practice session of the week today. Despite freezing temperatures, the team elected to hold the session outdoors; but while conditions – at least from spectator’s perspective a were not perfect due to the temperatures, something else was: attendance.
All 63 members of New England’s active roster and practice squad were present for today’s session. This means that both kicker Stephen Gostkowski and safety/special teamer Nate Ebner returned to practice.
Gostkowski, who celebrates his 33rd birthday today, missed the Patriots’ last two practices due to an illness. While his availability for the Super Bowl was never in doubt, seeing him healthy enough to return to practice is a good sign for him and the team.
The same has to be said about Ebner’s return. The core special teamer suffered a concussion during the AFC Championship Game. Given how closely head injuries have to be monitored, Ebner’s return is encouraging. After all, the 2016 Olympian leads the team in special teams tackles and appears on all four units.
With both players back on the practice fields it seems as if the Patriots are at full strength heading into their second week of preparation for the game against the Atlanta Falcons.