The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 in a rematch of Super Bowl LI and the coaching staff deemed six practice players the most helpful in achieving that goal: RB Rex Burkhead, LB Marquis Flowers, DL Geneo Grissom, WR Cody Hollister, LB Trevor Reilly, and CB Jomal Wiltz.
Practice players of the week: LB Trevor Reilly, DL Geneo Grissom, LB Marquis Flowers, CB Jomal Wiltz, WR Cody Hollister & RB Rex Burkhead— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 25, 2017
Each of these players likely played a role of imitating a star player on the Falcons roster.
RB Rex Burkhead was likely Devonta Freeman and/or Tevin Coleman, the dynamic Falcons running backs. Burkhead also worked back to his first game since injuring his ribs.
LB Marquis Flowers was probably linebacker Deion Jones and I wouldn’t be surprised if he also played as De’Vondre Campbell and/or Keanu Neal, the players responsible for covering Rob Gronkowski.
DL Geneo Grissom was likely a mix of the Falcons defensive linemen. Grady Jarrett has a good first step as does Vic Beasley, and they were asked to test the Patriots offensive line.
WR Cody Hollister was clearly Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, right? It just makes sense and the Patriots did a pretty good job defending both players for most of the game.
LB Trevor Reilly was likely also asked to play as Beasley and Brooks Reed and he also needed to step up for more reps with Harvey Langi sidelined with a serious injury.
CB Jomal Wiltz could have been any of the Falcons cornerbacks, with a particular focus on Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. The Patriots opted to pick on Alford for most of the game.
Week 2: DB Nate Ebner, DL Geneo Grissom, TE Jacob Hollister
Week 3: DL Adam Butler, DL Geneo Grissom, WR Cody Hollister, DB Damarius Travis
Week 5: Unknown
Week 6: DL Angelo Blackson, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, DB David Jones, OL Ted Karras, DB Damarius Travis.
Week 7: RB Rex Burkhead, LB Marquis Flowers, DL Geneo Grissom, WR Cody Holliser, LB Trevor Reilly, CB Jomal Wiltz.